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Busa expresses concern over Draft Companies Amendment Bill

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are vital contributors to our economy, Busa says. File picture

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are vital contributors to our economy, Busa says. File picture

Published Oct 25, 2023


Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has said that it has concerns regarding the potential ramifications of the Draft Companies Amendment Bill on the business community should it be enacted in its current iteration.

Busa said that 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, such as the impact on small businesses, as 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. Some sections of the bill have been deemed complex and ambiguous, making it challenging for companies to interpret and comply with the new regulations,” Busa said in a statement.

The group further said that this ambiguity may result in increased legal disputes and compliance difficulties.

“While enhanced regulatory oversight is intended to improve corporate governance and transparency, business is apprehensive about excessive government interference and bureaucracy. 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,” Busa stated.

“As with any significant legislative changes, we are concerned that certain provisions in the bill may have unforeseen negative impacts on businesses. 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 recognise 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,” Busa added.

Busa went on to state that it 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 bill 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,” Busa said.