n South African Law Journal - Must a section 21 non-profit company be concerned only with charitable, benevolent or philanthropic activities? A closer look at the SCA judgment in : notes

Volume 127, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



On 28 September 2009, the Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa ('the SCA') delivered a judgment in Cuninghame v First Ready Development 249 [2010] 1 All SA 473 (SCA) regarding a section 21 company, the principal business of which was the management of a commercial hotel. The judgment, it is submitted, will have far reaching practical consequences for a substantial number of registered section 21 companies which undertake commercial objects for 'group or communal interests' as provided for under s 21(1)() of the Companies Act 61 of 1973 ('the 1973 Companies Act').

The purpose of this case note is to analyse the judgment critically, with particular reference to whether a non-profit company, in the form of a section 21 company, can lawfully undertake a business with a view to advance a 'group or communal interest' unrelated to the promotion of religion, arts, sciences, education, charity, recreation or any other cultural or social interests (ie 'public benefit / charitable purposes').

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error