In this book, the second edition of Delport's manual on the Companies Act is supplemented by chapters on close corporations and partnerships extracted from Benade et al Entrepreneurial Law (2008) and updated. As is evident from the description "Student Edition", on the cover, the purpose is to cater for university courses on business enterprise forms. The principles of business trusts are not covered, although this topic forms part of the curriculum at some universities. It is clear from the preface that, like Entrepreneurial Law, the manual is intended to be used as a companion to Nagel (ed) Commercial Law (2006). This combination would then also serve the textbook needs for non-law students in commercial law courses.
As a fundamental tenet of South African law, all law students are taught the mischief rule, a rule dating back to the sixteenth century: "To arrive at the real meaning [of a provision] we have ... to consider, (1) what was the law before the measure was passed; (2) what was the mischief or defect for which the law had not provided; (3) what remedy the Legislator had appointed; and (4) the reason of the remedy" (Hleka v Johannesburg City Council 1949 1 SA 842 (A) 852-853; the rule was first set out in the Heydon case 1584 3 Co Rep 7a 7b). In addition to serving as an important interpretative aid, the rule acknowledges the fact that legislation is designed to serve particular societal ends in subduing an identified mischief and promoting the remedy adopted for its elimination (Du Plessis Re-Interpretation of Statutes (2002) 117). Law, it is often said, does not exist in a vacuum, and the same is true of labour law. When an act becomes disconnected from the purposes it has been designed to achieve and is ineffectual in subduing mischief, then it becomes apparent that the amendment of the legal regime or part of it must be considered.