Social and ethics committees gaining traction

Social and Ethics Committees (SECs) are provided for in Section 72 (4-10) of the Companies Act, 2008 (Act No. 71 of 2008). But the uptake of these committees in companies is proving to be a challenge when, in fact, it should be seen as an opportunity for companies to build relationships with the communities and consumers they deal with daily. As some companies have discovered, having an SEC becomes more than a “check-box” exercise

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Incentives for whistle-blowers: Weigh up the options carefully

Canada’s Ontario Securities Commission recently announced that it would begin paying incentives to whistle-blowers. The scheme allows for payments of up to $1.5 million, or more if high amounts are collected. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the flag-bearer for this approach, paying famously high rewards to those uncovering corporate wrongdoing.

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Managing ethics risk successfully

Unethical business practices pose a significant risk to businesses and until now we have lacked a solid framework for managing that risk.

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Economy casts damper on ethical performance

While awareness of corporate ethics codes has increased, there has been a drop in the number of persons reporting ethical misconduct. This is probably because South African companies are investing fewer resources in improving their ethics performance and, as a result, ethical business practices are still not well-embedded into the organisational culture of corporate South Africa.

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Only ethical courage will end Nkandla saga

In welcoming the historic ruling by the Constitutional Court in the Nkandla matter, the Ethics Institute of South Africa (EthicsSA) says that the damage caused to the country will only be repaired if leaders admit they erred, and recommit themselves to the foundational values of the Constitution.

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Back up your story with facts; not stereotypes

The current social media storm on racism demonstrates yet again how dangerous stereotypes are, and how easily they can become self-fulfilling prophecies. To prevent these inaccurate but powerful stories from setting the national agenda, South Africans must consciously tell a different story - backed up by the facts.

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Promoting integrity in municipal procurement

The Ethics Institute of South Africa (EthicsSA) has released a booklet designed to help businesses understand the municipal procurement process, and what their rights are if they suspect irregularities.

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Bribery: Not everyone does it.

A recent survey of ordinary South Africans conducted by the Ethics Institute of South Africa (EthicsSA) and sponsored by Massmart-Walmart gives a fresh view on everyday bribery in the country.    

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How to root out bribery and corruption…and why you should want to

Bribery and corruption pose a number of risks for companies, not the least of which is its effect on performance. 

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Top three challenges in reducing fraud and corruption

Being too ethical, human nature, and transforming ethics risks into change opportunities are three major challenges in reducing fraud and corruption. These challenges were highlighted at the recent 8th annual Ethics Officer Learning Forum.

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Lessons from Nkandlagate

As allegations of fraud and corruption rise, both public and private sector organisations need to know how to act when accused of unethical conduct. Important lessons on how to handle a scandal can be learned from Nkandlagate.

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Young South Africans can still make their world a happy place

Youth Day commemorates the brave young people who took a stand against injustice in 1976. Important as that commemoration is, we must use this day to remind ourselves that that today’s youth face their own challenges when it comes to building better lives and a better South Africa. Doing this means equipping themselves to make the right ethical choices in their own lives, including at the workplace.

 

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