Section 157 of the Companies Bill now pending in South Africa may bring the class action into mainstream corporate and commercial activity in that country. As discussed in an article in the South African Insurance Times & Investments News, the class action has historically been a seldom-used procedure in South Africa, restricted to Bill of Rights infringements.
According to the article, the Companies Bill would change things dramatically, and establish many specific actionable wrongs that would give rise to civil liability on the part of directors and officers of companies. The article further notes that “[o]ne of the first questions asked by insurers considering entry into the D&O market in South Africa is whether class actions are allowed. The fact that they have now arrived will require this market to be re-rated in recognition of the increased exposure.”