Listed com­pa­nies must not be muz­zled

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

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

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