BLSA policy updates

17/03/2021 | By Admin

B4SA COVID-19 Vaccine Platform

Business for South Africa (B4SA) has been requested by the National Department of Health to set up a private sector structure that co-ordinates private sector vaccine roll out activities and feeds into the National Vaccine Co-ordinating Committee (Co-ordinating Committee).

Accordingly, the B4SA Health Platform has been revived, with a specific focus on the COVID-19 vaccine and its associated roll out.

It will now be known as the B4SA COVID Vaccine Platform and will consist of various work streams, all of which are aimed at aligning to and integrating with the various Co‑ordinating Committee work streams, thus, ensuring alignment and cohesion across the private and public sectors.

Companies Amendment Bill

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) is involved in an intensive ongoing the National Economic Development and Labour Advisory Council (NEDLAC) process on the Companies Amendment Bill overseen by Minister Patel, which is currently in its second phase.

The current process is focusing on the following key outstanding items arising from the NEDLAC Companies Amendment Bill process concluded earlier in 2020 –

  1. access to information, particularly, financial information and shareholder communication.
  2. inclusion of directors and officers in offence provisions relating to non-compliance to provide requested access to information.
  3. identifying directors and prescribed officers by name in disclosure of remuneration.
  4. inclusion of remuneration report in annual financial statements, shareholder votes and consequence management.
  5. disclosure of beneficial interests in company securities and obligations on companies to request relevant disclosure.
  6. consideration of failure to include statement in report of the social and ethics committee as part of delinquency application; and
  7. representation of labour on board of directors.

Law firm, Webber Wentzel has provided technical input on this phase of the Companies Amendment Bill process. BUSA will engage at NEDLAC on the mandated position.

Simplification of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) Electricity Licencing Procedures

BUSA has had ongoing engagements with National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), and has subsequently reached out for assistance from BLSA with the formulation of a legal opinion on finding ways to –

  1. streamline the electricity licencing process and other mechanisms to simplify and streamline the process, particularly in relation to the administrative requirements; and
  2. ensure an enabling policy framework for distributed/embedded generation and generation for own use.

The overall objectives of engagements with NERSA and the DMRE on these issues are to simplify the processes in relation to distributed/embedded generation and generation for own use in order to open up the grid and so that the relevant policies and legislation to ensure electricity security are put in place which lead to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy to meet current and future needs.

As such, the legal opinion will be used in the ongoing engagements with NERSA and the DMRE. We have agreed to assist BUSA with this request by engaging our member. ENS is currently drafting the abovementioned legal opinion.