The now not so new Companies Act, No. 71 of 2008 still sits on the shelf…

by Rita Felgate (Adv.)

In the mean time, the Companies Amendment Bill, 40B of 2010 (the “Bill”) is on a roiling boiling given its 11th March 2011 adoption by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, and the Department of Trade and Industry’s strongly stated intention to push the Bill through Parliament and onto the President’s desk (or should I have said ” Presidents’ desk”) for assent.

Finding out what kind of animal the Companies Act, No. 71 of 2008 (the “Act”) will be once the Bill is assented to and the Act commenced as amended, is an exercise I’ve delayed on the prediction (absent evidence to the contrary) that the Bill is riddled with the same kind of “numerous errors and inconsistencies” that has put the primary Act on the shelf for so long. I vaguely hoped many of these would be teased out during the Bill’s revision process.

However, given the adoption of the Bill, DTI’s determined statements, and the consequent media churn about the Act being taken off the shelf anytime soon, I decided in the name of preparedness to allocate time and resources to the first step of finding out what kind of animal the Act will be: that of engrossing the Bill’s proposed amendments to the Act.

Any guess as to what I found? Need I say? Anyone want to take a guess? A short shot at the answer?

Let it be said that if the Bill is passed as it, it will be very interesting to see what textual version of the Companies Act, 71 of 2008 (as amended) makes it into the publishers’ books.  I stopped counting at 58 engrossing errors (for some reason I was reluctant to count up to 60).

I then – might I mention, again, on a prediction born of experience, this time, that the Bill will 58-plus warts and all become an Act because that is par for the course given the current standard of drafting – forged on in my attempt to get to know what kind of animal the new Companies Act, No. 71 of 2008 (as amended ad initio) will be, by embarking on a substantive content analyis of the Act as if amended by the Bill.

And what I found in my substantive content analysis? Need I say? Anyone want to take a guess?

This entry was posted in The law as it stands. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply