The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) on Monday came under fire from the Democratic Alliance, which claimed that the commission’s new website was broken, causing major delays in the registration of new companies and other administrative tasks.
But the CIPC now says the site is in fact working, but is running slowly due to the demands placed on the server.
“Since the new online services have been launched, the CIPC has received large volumes of transactions,” said a spokesman.
DA MP and spokesman for trade and industry Geordin Hill-Lewis said earlier this week that he had received hundreds of complaints from frustrated entrepreneurs, accountants and small business service providers who couldn’t access any CIPC services via the new website.
The CIPC launched the website on 17 September, along with self-service centres and terminals. The website features an enquiry logging system and allows users to download and upload documentation.
In addition, it can be used for registrations, address and financial year-end changes, annual return calculations and filings, and changing company directorship and member details.
The CIPC said that since its launch, the website has lodged 11 758 company registrations, 8 406 name reservations, 13 041 director and member changes, and 23 668 annual returns.
However, it had been “struggling with the volumes of transactions in the following areas: company registration, amendments to company memoranda of incorporation and director changes. System refinements as well as extended processing times are being implemented to ensure that we are able to address the volumes,” said the spokesman.
Hill-Lewis said the website should have been tested thoroughly before going live. “Users are reporting that they have been unable to register new businesses online since the site launched. It freezes as soon as new applications are submitted.
Similarly, the submission process for company annual returns, and company name applications works only intermittently.”
The CIPC acknowledged that there were problems with slow response times on director changes and company registration.
“To deal with this, the CIPC has affected a number of changes over the past two weeks, including increasing the bandwidth … and, most recently, increasing the storage and memory on its infrastructure.”
The spokesman added: “We are confident that systems problems will have been resolved by the end of this week and that the backlogs in critical areas, such as company registration and director changes will have been significantly reduced over the next two weeks.” — © 2014 NewsCentral Media