The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) is concerned that external companies listed in SA but not registered in the country are not subject to certain provisions of the Companies Act. The concern was expressed on Wednesday by the CIPC head of governance, surveillance and enforcement Asogaren Chetty in a briefing on Steinhoff before four parliamentary committees: finance, trade and industry, public accounts, and public service and administration. Under the Companies Act, an external company is a foreign company that is carrying on a business within SA. Chetty said the regulator’s concern was that a publicly listed foreign company was defined by the Companies Act as an external company and was technically allowed to contract out of certain civil and criminal provisions of the act, including section 214 regarding the duties of directors. This meant that in terms of liability there were no consequences. The problem was not only apparent in relation to Steinhoff but als...

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