31 October 2023

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) Statement on the Draft Companies Amendment, 2023

BUSA expresses a significant concern regarding the potential ramifications of the draft Companies Amendment Bill on the business community should it be enacted in its current iteration. While the Bill aspires to bring about constructive reforms, it has also given rise to several legitimate concerns and alarms that require thorough and deliberate consideration as outlined below:

Impact on Small Businesses: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are vital contributors to our economy. We are concerned that certain provisions in the Bill might inadvertently place additional compliance requirements and costs on SMEs, potentially impeding their competitiveness and growth.

Complexity and Ambiguity: Some sections of the Bill have been deemed complex and ambiguous, making it challenging for companies to interpret and comply with the new regulations. This ambiguity may result in increased legal disputes and compliance difficulties.

Increased Regulatory Oversight: While enhanced regulatory oversight is intended to improve corporate governance and transparency, business is apprehensive about excessive government interference and bureaucracy.

Data Privacy: Provisions related to the collection and sharing of corporate data have sparked concerns about data privacy and cybersecurity. Companies are anxious about the security of their sensitive information and the personal data of their employees being shared with the public.

Unintended Consequences: As with any significant legislative changes, we are concerned that certain provisions in the Bill may have unforeseen negative impacts on businesses.

Enforcement Challenges: Effective enforcement of the new regulations and penalties for non-compliance is a vital aspect. There is a concern that inconsistent enforcement could undermine the Bill’s objectives.

While acknowledging these concerns, it’s essential to recognize that the draft Companies Amendment Bill also holds the potential to strengthen our corporate regulatory framework, improve corporate governance, and boost transparency in the business environment. Striking a balance between these objectives and addressing the apprehensions raised is crucial for the successful implementation of the Bill.

BUSA is committed to engaging in constructive dialogue with regulators, lawmakers, and other stakeholders to ensure that the Bill is refined to address these concerns while achieving its intended positive outcomes. Getting the Bills right will address the current socio-economic challenges that our country is faced with.

We believe that by working together, we can create a regulatory framework that not only fosters a conducive environment for businesses but also upholds the principles of good governance and accountability.

ENDS
Cas Coovadia
BUSA CEO

Spokesperson:
Lunga Maloyi
Economic Policy Director

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For more information, please contact:
Sizwe Maswanganye
Tel: 011 784 8000/0766516444
Email: sizwe.maswanganye@busa.org.za