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There are about 230,000 registered non-profit organisations (NPOs) in South Africa, and getting involved as a board member could make a considerable difference to their sustainability. Join up and make a difference – but avoid some common pitfalls.
Global demand for greater tax transparency, emanating from corporate scandals such as Google, Amazon, Starbucks, Apple and Nike, is leading the boards and audit committees of South African corporations to ask more difficult questions than ever before about how organisations are governing their tax affairs and managing tax risks. The risk of reputational damage and financial loss is simply too high to be ignored.
On 5 November, the JSE Limited (JSE) announced amendments to its Listings Requirements to strengthen the regulation of primary listings and secondary listings. The amendments follow an extensive consultation process with the market and the public that kicked off in September 2018 after the JSE released a consultation paper (Paper) on "possible regulatory responses to recent events surrounding listed issuers and trading in their shares" (click here to read the e-alert on the Paper).
On Tuesday 29 October 2019, the South African Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, released, and held a media briefing on, a special paper entitled 'Roadmap for Eskom in a Reformed Electricity Supply Industry, 2019' (the Roadmap). The Roadmap highlights the issues that Eskom is currently facing and then sets out the government's plan to address them.
A plethora of corporate governance codes has been written across the world, and in spite of their recommendations which inter alia seek to protect stakeholder interests and shareholder value, many governance failures and organisational collapses continue seemingly unabated.
In a world where the interconnected and constantly changing relationships between financial, social and environmental issues are becoming more evident, businesses that remain unaware of their impacts and dependencies on their non-financial relationships attract unnecessary risk. Indeed, these organisations also fail to recognise new opportunities for efficiency, growth, resilience and development.
With the fourth industrial revolution in full swing, businesses are looking for faster and more efficient ways to service customers. Customers are also increasingly tech-savvy and demand more from their service providers, including quicker access and more tailored offerings. Business must carefully assess legal issues that will have an impact on the ability not only to move to cloud, but also to have full beneficial use of cloud services.
The recent resignations of the CEOs of Eskom and South African Airways have again focussed the spotlight on board performance and effectiveness. Inevitably, the critical question arises: why are these CEOs really leaving? In considering the answer to this question one must include a review of the board’s composition and the extent to which the overall ‘health’ of the board may have influenced any decision to leave or not leave the organisation.
When boards of directors gather to discuss the top risks of an organisation, it may entail matters such as structurally high unemployment, labour unrest, exchange rate volatility, political uncertainty, unmanageable fraud and corruption, threats of new market entrants or even product stagnation. Whilst there are indeed many more topical risks that may be relevant to the nature of the organisation’s business and immediate environment, it is not common for a board to include the threat of their innovation and intellectual property (IP) being marginalised or lost.
The JSE has published for comment proposed amendments to its Listings Requirements to strengthen the regulation of primary listings and secondary listings. The proposed changes take account of the public comments raised during the consultation process that kicked off in September 2018 after the JSE released a consultation paper (Paper) on 'possible regulatory responses to recent events surrounding listed issuers and trading in their shares'.