Speech on the Second Reading debate of the Companies Amendment Bill [B27B-2023] and the Companies Second Amendment Bill [B26B-2023]
Speech by ACDP MP, Wayne Thring

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

Government must create an environment for business growth and reduce the burden of compliance

Nov 30, 2023

“Honourable House Chairperson, as we consider these Amendment Bills, the ACDP wishes to emphatically state that we do not view business as an enemy. On the contrary, the ACDP views the business sector as key to growing our industrial base, increase exports, thereby contributing to the national fiscus and creating jobs. Government’s role is to create meaningful partnerships with the business sector, not make enemies of them. Just as Trade Unions look after the interests of workers, government has a responsibility to create a conducive environment for doing business.

The ACDP is aware that the Companies Second Amendment Bill seeks to amend the Companies Act, 2008, as recommended by the Zondo Commission, so as to amend the time bars, in respect of proceedings to recover any loss, where a person is liable; and to amend the time bar for the bringing of an application to declare a person delinquent in terms of section 162(2).

On the other hand, the Companies Amendment Bill seeks to amend the Companies Act, 2008, to, among other things, provide for the preparation, presentation and voting on companies’ remuneration policy and directors’ remuneration report, clarify how shares which are not fully paid are to be dealt with, and provide for the presentation of the social and ethics committee report at the AGM or shareholders’ meeting as the case may be.

In our deliberations, the ACDP addressed the concern of including a horizontal pay gap (gender pay parity), in addition to the Palma ratio focus on the vertical gap between the top echelons versus the bottom spectrum.

The vast majority of submissions from business raised concern about amendments to Section 30A which would prevent non-executive directors serving on the remuneration committee to continue to do so for a period of three years after a single vote of non-approval of the implementation report. The final amendment which moved away from a “first strike” must be welcomed as any onerous limitations placed on remuneration committees will make it difficult for companies to secure and retain competent skills.

During our public hearings and interaction with the business sector, appeals were made to assist in the ease of doing business, to create an environment conducive for business and to reduce the burden of compliance. An ACDP led government, will do just that.

While supporting the Second Amendment Bill, the ACDP does not support the Companies Amendment Bill”

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