Posted on: March 7, 2011 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

A new Companies Commission will be set up to jointly implement state administration and enforcement of the new Companies Act that comes into effect in April 2011.

The new Companies Commission will combine the Office of Companies and Intellectual Property Enforcement (OCIPE), under the Department of Trade and Industry, DTI, and Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO). Enterprise risk officers should note the changes.

The Act requires transformation of CIPRO into an independent organ of state, with expanded functions and powers, to be named Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, or Companies Commission in short.

Administrative functions currently assigned to the Minister under the Companies Act, would be de-politicised and placed under jurisdiction of the Companies Commission.

The Companies Commission will act as a public service, led by a commissioner and deputy commissioner, tasked to register companies, external companies and co-operatives, register intellectual property rights, maintain information on registers, raise education and awareness of corporate and intellectual property legislation, promote compliance with relevant legislation, and enforce relevant legislation in an efficient and effective manner.

The new Companies Act introduces several new state responsibilities, that CIPRO currently do not perform. Enforcement would include pro-active measures by way of compliance notices served on defaulting companies, investigation of complaints and contraventions, and inspections into corporate affairs.

Dispute resolution would be ruled by a Companies Tribunal or similar accredited agency. The Companies Commission would also research and report on national companies and IP policy and legislation, and continuously review relevant legislation, regulations and financial reporting standards.

New close corporations would no longer be registered under the new Companies Act. The register of current Close Corporations would be maintained.

• Contact the Companies Commission via Dr Elsabe Conradie at CIPRO, on 012 394 5467, econradie@cipro.gov.za or visit www.cipro.gov.za

PHOTO; DTI Cipro registration was transacted by pavement ‘facilitator’ go-betweens, using typewriters on the streets around the DTI head office in Pretoria, up to 2010. The informal bureaucractic practice is expected to be abolished, along with alleged extensive corruption.

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