- Is it possible for a small to middle size South African business (or even big entities) to comply with all applicable South African legislation?
The context to this is (i) the overwhelming number of acts that apply to businesses and (ii) the relationship between various pieces of legislation.
Regarding no (i)
(a) In addition to the overwhelming number of acts that apply, some pieces of legislation are complex to understand, e.g. the tax related legislation.
(b) Existing legislation keeps changing (e.g. recent changes to the NCA that has the effect that businesses that provide staff loans (even just 1) are required to register as “credit providers” and comply with legislation and recent changes to the Protected Disclosures Act).
Regarding no (ii):
Many of the newer acts provide that, in the event of a conflict with other legislation, the new act will apply. The consequence of this is two-fold:
(a) That you may think that you are complying with a particular piece of legislation, while another piece of legislation (that you are not aware of) overrides the content of the act that you are looking at. An example is the provisions of the Companies Act, which requires that ALL documents must be kept for 7 years. In the event that other legislation prescribes a shorter retention period, the Companies Act will override this, but very few people would be aware of this interaction.
(b) That it will be difficult to interpret legislation where both acts, that could potentially apply, have the provision that they override all other legislation.