Listed companies must not be muzzled
I write to urge the JSE to NOT scrap the requirement that listed companies must publish annually in at least one newspaper their corporate actions.
The JSE’s proposed action will bankrupt what is left of our South African business press.
To have this business press collapse would be as bad as a company who dismantles a fire alarm, and destroys a burglar alarm. Our business press is the whistle-blower who uncovers (more than colluding auditor firms, as we now read) what is going on, and what is going wrong.
The health of our corporate sector – including our JSE – depends in part on a robust business press with robust investigative journalism. This does not come cheap, and they require advertising revenue to sustain them.
We fought for decades against apartheid censorship and for a free thriving press in a democracy. It would be tragic if the market did what the apartheid regime failed to complete. KEITH GOTTSCHALK, DETAINED WITHOUT TRIAL 1985; POLITICAL SCIENTIST, CLAREMONT