“Ethics or simple honesty is the building blocks upon which our whole society is based, and business is a part of our society, and it’s integral to the practice of being able to conduct business, that you have a set of honest standards.”

Kerry Stokes

The social and ethics committee comprises four non-executive directors and one executive director who have been appointed by the Board. The chairperson of the committee is Ms AB Amod and the other members comprise Professor VC Mehana, Mr JM Gaomab and Ms CF Hendricks. Ms Z Barends was appointed to this committee during the period under review. The company secretary is the secretary of this committee.

ROLE AND FUNCTION OF THE COMMITTEE

A charter approved by the Board governs the role and function of the committee. The duties of the committee include the monitoring of the Company and the Group’s activities (inter alia, via other committees of the Board), having regard to all relevant legislation, legal requirements or prevailing codes of best practice.

REPORT OF THE SOCIAL AND ETHICS COMMITTEE

The social and ethics committee assisted the Board in ensuring that the Group is and remains a committed, socially responsible corporate citizen and to perform the statutory functions required of the committee in terms of the Companies Act. The commitment to sustainable development involves ensuring that the Company and the Group conducts its operations in a manner that meets existing needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The committee’s primary role is to supplement, support, advise and provide guidance on the effectiveness, or otherwise of management’s efforts, in respect of sustainable development and social and ethics-related matters.

During the year under review, the committee undertook the following:

  • Reviewed and amended the personnel manual and ensured that all policies are in line with the amended Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (No. 75 of 1997) (“Basic Conditions of Employment Act”), the Employment Equity Act, 1998 (No. 55 of 1998) (“Employment Equity Act”), as well as skills development;
  • Reviewed the compliance against the UN Global Compact’s 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption;
  • Reviewed the employment relationships and its contribution toward the educational development of its employees.
  • Reviewed the standing in terms of social and economic development and made recommendations;
  • Reviewed the standing in terms of the new regulations governing Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment to ensure compliance;
  • Reviewed the corporate citizenship, including the promotion of equality and prevention of unfair discrimination;
  • Reported that there was no corruption or fraud;
  • Approved the contribution to the development of communities in which the Company and the Group’s activities are conducted, including sponsorship, donations and charitable giving;
  • Reviewed the environmental impact in terms of health and public safety, including the impact of the Company’s activities and/or its products or services;
  • Reviewed the consumer relationships, including advertising, public relations and compliance with consumer protection laws;
  • Undertook an audit and review of annual leave;
  • Ongoing staff awareness around the following policies:

    • The Way We Work Policy;
    • Anti-corruption and Bribery;
    • Code of Conduct; and
    • Code of Ethics; and
  • Reviewed the draft internship policy.

For the year under review, the committee is satisfied that is has fulfilled all its statutory duties assigned by the Board. The chairman of the social and ethics committee reports to the Board on the activities of the committee at Board meetings.