Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) is calling for vigilance from members of boards of directors and shareholders towards ensuring improvement of governance, thereby limiting the opportunity for corruption in the private sector.
The recent revelations of suspected accounting irregularities at Steinhoff International have once again demonstrated the urgent need for companies to embed ethical behaviour at all levels of businesses. BUSA welcomes the probe by the German authorities into the accounting practices of the company and urges Steinhoff to leave no stone unturned in uncovering the depth of corruption within its own ranks and bringing the responsible individuals to book.
“We call for decisive action in punishing those involved in corruption. Corruption which undermines the integrity of trade and the economy. Shareholders and the individuals who serve in boards of directors need to bear the responsibility of ensuring that executives maintain the highest ethical standards and accountability,” BUSA CEO Tanya Cohen said.
BUSA is also gravely concerned about the allegations of impropriety levelled against MultiChoice in its engagement with content suppliers and government over the digital migration policy matters. BUSA calls on the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), to expediate its decision to investigate the allegations against MultiChoice so that wrongdoing can be exposed and duly sanctioned. The Naspers board needs to take decisive action to ensure that all allegations are properly investigated and that the leadership of both Naspers as parent company and MultiChoice take full responsibility if found to be in violation of accepted ethical behaviour.
“The recent events at Steinhoff and MultiChoice are off extreme concern to business as they add further indication of the rising concerns about the integrity and attractiveness of the South African economy, which remains in desperate need of more investments to stimulate recovery and create jobs. Business plays a pivotal role in upholding and promoting the reputation of the South African business and economic landscape,” adds Cohen.