Critical analysis of the extended legal standing provisions under section 157(1) of the Companies Act 71 of 2008 to apply for legal remedies

Authors Justice Chris Jafta

ISSN: 2521-2575
Affiliations: Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa
Source: Journal of Corporate and Commercial Law & Practice, The, Volume 1 Issue 1, 2015, p. 35 – 43


Legal standing (or locus standi) is a requirement for instituting legal proceedings, irrespective of whether the claim is rooted in the Constitution, statute law or the common law. For claims based on the common law or statutes, the standard for establishing legal standing is generally the same. In passing the Companies Act 71 of 2008, Parliament must have been aware of the narrow approach to standing at common law and the fact that in the case of a statutory claim, legal standing is determined with reference to the relevant statute. It cannot be gainsaid that the aim of the legislature, encapsulated in s 157, was to alter the common-law position on legal standing and expand the class of persons who may institute legal proceedings. The section has revolutionised legal standing in matters where the Act applies. This article considers the scope of that legal standing, the determination of which involves the interpretation of s 157.