The new Companies Act is on track to come into force from 1 May 2011, following President Jacob Zuma’s signing of the Companies Amendment Act of 2010 yesterday.

Dr Rob Davies, Minister of Trade & Industry, says the new Companies Act is the next in a series of significant new legislation.
Addressing Parliament this week in his budget vote speech, Davies points out that the National Consumer Act came into force at the beginning of April, and the Companies Commission which will begin to implement the new Companies Act on 1 May, wasx launched this week.
“Two weeks earlier, we launched the new iteration of the Industrial Policy Action Plan covering the period 2011/12 to 2013/14, and in between, we had highly significant engagements with our counterparts, the Trade Ministers of Brazil, China, India and Russia as an integral part of the first BRICS Summit South Africa has participated in – an event which also saw the signing of a highly significant memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation between business organisations of the BRICS.”
He says the new consumer and companies legislation are important steps in reforming and modernising commercial law to the benefit of the majority of South African citizens.
“The Consumer Commission is already making its presence felt as a key pillar in implementing legislation that I am convinced will be of enormous benefit to both consumers and producers struggling against unfair competition from sub standard and shoddy goods,” he says.
“The new Companies Act will provide for a modern, efficient system of company regulation that will reduce red tape and hassle while making necessary regulation more effective. The business rescue provisions in this Act will also allow for the early detection and turnaround of companies in financial distress and this will go a long way towards saving jobs.
“Together, these new laws and concomitant implementing mechanisms will fundamentally change the landscape on how business is conducted and in how consumers are protected for the better.”
Among other initiatives by the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), Davies points out that, in the past year, investments of R40-million in the business process services sector led to the creation of 950 new jobs.
“A further approval of R42-million new investment commitments linked to 806 jobs has been made,” he says. “Under the Monyetla II Programme, 3 400 recruits are currently being trained of which 70% have been guaranteed employment by the BPO consortium.”