JOHANNESBURG - The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) has taken some of its key services online and effectively suspended major functions such as business rescue proceedings during the Covid-19 national lockdown.
CIPC commissioner Advocate Rory Voller told its customers that from Wednesday that it would start deactivating all service-related mailboxes and upload functionality until the end of the national lockdown on April 16.
According to the notice, the CIPC only fully automated services will be available to the public.
The available services include annual returns including annual financial statements or financial accountability supplement, compliance checklist, changes to companies and close corporation financial year end, addresses, company names and registration of domain names as well as broad-based black economic empowerment certificates.
All other services will be reactivated after the end of the lockdown.
The CIPC will extend business rescue proceedings which had commenced but were not completed when the lockdown started until the end of this month.
The lockdown period will not count for business rescue proceedings that have not yet commenced, according to the commission.
Filing of annual returns falling between March 25 and April 15 will be extended until April 30.
The CIPC will also not take any action by placing companies and close corporations into de-registration for non-compliance with the annual returns or finally deregister any company or close corporation that is currently in the de-registration process for non-compliance with annual returns until further notice.
Voller’s announcement follows last week’s decision not to invoke the CIPC's powers under the Companies Act to issue compliance notices to companies it has reasonable grounds to believe they are trading or carrying on business recklessly, with gross negligence or for fraudulent purposes.
The CIPC will also not invoke its powers in cases of companies temporarily insolvent and still carrying on business or trading.
"This is only applicable where the commission has reason to believe that the insolvency is due to business conditions, which were caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Voller said, adding that this will lapse within 60 days after the declaration of the national state of disaster has been lifted.