Companies and Intellectual Property Commission e-Services and BizPortal platforms

April 1st, 2023

On 9 January 2023, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) launched the new CIPC e-Services and BizPortal platform for purposes of transacting with their office by way of debit or credit card. The CIPC is attempting to move away from the declining method of payment. However, when the platforms went live on the aforementioned date, stakeholders were unable to transact as the new platforms were flawed and dysfunctional.

Business came to a complete halt and the Company Law and Liquidation Committee of the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) stepped in and intervened on behalf of the legal profession.

The new transactional platforms were launched by the CIPC without proper testing and without a proper consultation with various stakeholders, which resulted in serious transactional errors that the CIPC’s IT department could not resolve.

After considerable pressure from the LSSA and the possible threat of a mandamus application, the CIPC on 26 January 2023 agreed to migrate back to the old platform. The CIPC then proceeded to shut down the new e-Services and BizPortal platforms on the weekend of 21 – 22 January 2023.

The migration back to the old platform resulted in legal practitioners once again being able to transact efficiently and seamlessly with the CIPC.

The CIPC is still working relentlessly to test the systems to ensure that, once the newly built e-Services and BizPortal platforms  are launched, the hiccup that occurred on 9 January 2023 will not be repeated.

The Commissioner of the CIPC, Rory Voller, has assured the LSSA that going forward a proper consultation process will be followed with all stakeholders, before the new systems are re-designed or re-launched to avoid a repetition of the serious challenges, which the legal profession and business community faced with the introduction of the dysfunctional platforms.

The LSSA will keep legal practitioners posted as to developments.

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2023 (April) DR 21.