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Property: CIPRO, Transforming Into a Commission to Give You More Power


Recent Gauteng Business News

A new era is dawning! The Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO) is in the process of merging with the Office of Companies and Intellectual Property Enforcement (OCIPE) to become a Commission. The new Commission will be known as the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. This new institution will have greater autonomy in serving the people of South Africa.

Mr Keith W Sendwe, CEO of CIPRO, explains that the decision to transform CIPRO into a Commission was made five years ago as part of the broad Department of Travel and Industry, (the dti) corporate law reform which involved the development of a new Companies Act. The blue print for this ground-breaking reform is contained in the guidance policy document entitled ‘South African Company Law for the 21st Century: Guidelines for Corporate Law Reform’. The document was written and refined prior to introduction in Parliament during 2008.

In a global environment where the stimulation of economic growth is of critical importance, it was deemed necessary to combine forces with other organisations complimenting CIPRO’s service offering and place registration and enforcement of companies and intellectual property rights under one roof. “CIPRO and OCIPE will accordingly merge to form the new Companies and Intellectual Property Commission,” says Sendwe.

CIPRO needs to follow due process in order to transform into a commission. “Following the introduction of the new Companies Act to Parliament, it was published for general comment on 27 June 2008 as Bill 61 of 2008. The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry received considerable feedback on the Act. All feedback, including oral presentations, which formed part of the public hearing of the Companies Bill during the latter part 2008, was taken into account. The result is a Bill that was significantly influenced by consumers and experts in the field of companies and intellectual property.”

The Bill was finally approved by the Committee and Parliament during November 2008 and has since been signed off by the President. “As with all transformation processes, we will have to be patient to see the end result, the Commission as a sunset clause in the Act prevents the new regulation from being put into operation within one year following its promulgation. The new Companies and Intellectual Property Commission will therefore only see the light after July 2010.”

Customers can rest assured that this change will only enhance and complement the services CIPRO has to offer. “After transformation, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission will operate under a new law with significantly expanded functions and powers. In particular, all administrative functions will now be de-politicised and placed within the jurisdiction of the Commission. Previously, all the administrative functions were assigned to the Minister of the dti. The appointment of members within the institutions and the drafting of regulations will however still be handled by the Minister.”

The ultimate goal of the reform is to ensure that enterprises of all types and sizes promote the principles of growth, employment, innovation, stability, good governance, confidence and international competitiveness. With core business divisions like registration of companies, co-operatives and intellectual property rights; compliance incorporating public education and awareness; research and analysis; legal advisory services and stakeholder management, it is clear that the Commission will now be better equipped to help entrepreneurs in turning creative ideas into viable business opportunities.

The only major change is that no new Close Corporations (CCs) will be registered after the Act becomes enforceable. However, all CCs currently listed on the Close Corporations Register prior to the implementation date of the Act will be maintained. Conversion from a CC to a private company under the new Companies Act will be possible at little or no cost to customers.

“We trust that you will join us on this road to transformation and look forward to bringing you a substantially enhanced service in the future with more power to you our valued customer,” concludes Sendwe.

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