A Competitions Board is charged with preventing the creation or strengthening of monopolies. It is currently less aggressive in its approach to those responsibilities than, for example, its counterpart in the United States but there will be a new anti-trust law introduced, which is expected to be stronger and better enforced. There are regulations governing the conduct of business in various sectors of the economy such as finance (banks and other financial institutions must be licensed by the government) and manufacturing and mining (in which safety and other working conditions are subject to inspection by government bodies).

A Securities Regulation Panel exists. It has authority to regulate acquisitions and takeovers where there is a change of control. At present control is deemed to be the holding of more than 35% of the voting shares of the target company. Transactions extending shareholdings already over 35% but under 50% are in certain circumstances also subject to the Panel. The Panel's jurisdiction applies to all public companies and large private companies, but not to small private companies or close corporations. The Panel has published a Code and Regulations, which have the force of law. Copies of all relevant documents and announcements concerning transactions affected by the Code are required to be lodged with the executive director of the Panel for approval prior to issue. The Panel's powers include the power to compel the making of like offers to minorities or to reverse transactions which have been implemented. In appropriate circumstances the Panel will grant exemption from compliance with any or all of the provisions of the Code and Regulations.

For further information please contact: 

Werksmans Attorneys 

Werksmans Chambers, 22 Girton Road, Parktown, Johannesburg 2193 
P.O. Box 927, Johannesburg 2000 South Africa

Enquiries:        Mr Charles Butler
Telephone         27 (011) 488-0000
Telefax           27 (011) 484-3100/3200
E-Mail Address    cbutler@werksmans.co.za