Cell C shareholding scheme mystery

Jamie McKane

MyBroadband Journalist
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
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Cell C shareholding scheme mystery

Cell C’s recent filing with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) revealed a strange shareholding structure which the company would not comment on.

On 22 December 2020, Cell C responded to ICASA’s Invitation to Apply (ITA) for IMT spectrum with a comprehensive application document.
 

deweyzeph

Executive Member
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Apr 17, 2009
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South Africa must be one of the few countries in the world where private companies are not required to make their shareholding public. For example, when you register a private company with CIPC you only have to declare who the directors are, but there is no obligation to reveal who the shareholders are of the company you're registering. In countries like the UK and Singapore both the directors AND shareholders of a private company are public record. In South Africa it's almost impossible to get to the bottom of who the actual shareholders are of a private company unless they are required by law to reveal that information.
 

Gordon_R

Honorary Master
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Jul 5, 2009
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South Africa must be one of the few countries in the world where private companies are not required to make their shareholding public. For example, when you register a private company with CIPC you only have to declare who the directors are, but there is no obligation to reveal who the shareholders are of the company you're registering. In countries like the UK and Singapore both the directors AND shareholders of a private company are public record. In South Africa it's almost impossible to get to the bottom of who the actual shareholders are of a private company unless they are required by law to reveal that information.

Actually many countries (including the UK) have issues with transparency:
Companies House is the UK's register of firms, their directors and the significant shareholders who control the business.

The register is such an important part of global business, it is searched million of times a day by people who need information on British companies.

But despite its importance to assuring the legitimacy of trade, directors don't need to prove who they actually are.

For years critics have said that this basic lack of identity-checking has allowed global criminal networks to make the UK the go-to destination for swift and invisible money-laundering.

Organised crime gangs set up front companies with fictitious directors and their profits disappear before they can be tracked down - not least because the directors cannot be traced.
 

deweyzeph

Executive Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Messages
8,496
Actually many countries (including the UK) have issues with transparency:

Sure, but it's still crazy that CIPC doesn't require ANY information on who the shareholders are of a private company. Not even SARS knows who the shareholders are of a private company because there is simply no central registry of shareholders of private companies.
 
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