Name and shame

Finweek English Edition - - Letters - MORGAN PHAAHLA

LAST YEAR – at the re­lease of the Em­ploy­ment Eq­uity Com­mis­sion’s em­ploy­ment eq­uity sta­tis­tics that re­vealed dis­mal fig­ures – Labour Min­is­ter Mem­bat­hisi Md­lad­lana used the op­por­tu­nity to “name and shame” com­pa­nies in an ef­fort to force them to com­ply with the law.

But many lost sight of the prin­ci­ple and jumped on the band­wagon to cast blame

on Md­lad­lana’s tac­tics, de­spite com­pa­nies fail­ing to ad­here to em­ploy­ment eq­uity leg­is­la­tion.

Be that as it may, there’s hardly a mur­mur con­cern­ing some JSElisted com­pa­nies such as JD Group for re­main­ing lily white at board and man­age­ment level. I don't think it’s fair ei­ther to punt Pub­lic In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion CEO Brian Molefe as a Gov­ern­ment hit man af­ter tak­ing Bar­loworld’s board to task for lack of trans­for­ma­tion at the com­pany and “tak­ing a close look” at JD Group. How­ever, in­vestors ab­di­cate their re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure that there’s a speedy ac­cel­er­a­tion of trans­for­ma­tion in SA’s econ­omy and the labour mar­ket. All of that doesn’t bode well for trans­for­ma­tion.

In fact, share­hold­ers, stake­hold­ers, an­a­lysts and the me­dia must lead the way to prod com­pa­nies to achieve ac­cept­able lev­els of eq­uity rep­re­sen­ta­tion on their boards. Like­wise, the black eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment Codes of Good Prac­tice be­ing passed into law, the Trade & In­dus­try De­part­ment must also name and shame com­pa­nies that fail to do what needs to be done in the con­text of em­pow­er­ment.

Brian Molefe

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