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Leading with Integrity: The DaVinci Institute’s Dedication to Strengthening Corporate Governance

Today, more than ever, there is a sense in which people have identified the need for South Africa to strengthen its corporate governance mechanisms to ensure the long-term sustainability and ethical functioning of its businesses and state-owned organisations. The importance of robust corporate governance cannot be overstated, especially in a landscape where transparency, accountability, and responsible business practices are paramount.

Recent Challenges and Controversies: Lessons from Prominent South African Entities

It is worth noting that recent challenges and controversies surrounding some prominent South African companies and government entities have underscored the urgency of reinforcing corporate governance standards. These issues have eroded public trust and hindered the country's economic growth and international reputation. To address some of these concerns, The DaVinci Institute recently partnered with the Knowledge Anchor Group, led by Dr Nimrod Mbele, on a corporate governance conference hosted at the PwC Midrand offices on 31 August 2023.

A Pioneering Partnership: The DaVinci Institute and the Knowledge Anchor Group

The conference, themed “The Role of Corporate Governance in Rebooting and Sustaining Economic Recovery and Growth,” featured a vibrant lineup of guest speakers. This lineup included a presentation by DaVinci’s Chief Executive Officer, Prof HB Klopper, messages of support from Professor Bonang Mohale, Warren Gule, and a keynote address by Dr Geraldine Fraser Moleketi, former Minister of Public Service and Administration. With representatives from diverse industries, regulatory bodies, and academia, the event aimed to foster a rich exchange of ideas and insights.

The Essence of Dialogue: Questions, Answers, and Insights from SOEs Governance

The dialogue themes ranged from State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) governance and overcoming transformation and prejudice challenges to panel discussions reflecting on the country's broken business model of SOEs. Particularly exciting, especially among the panellists, attendees/observers, and discussion facilitators, were the question and answer sessions. During these sessions, participants had the opportunity to probe and ask questions about the concept of governance lapses, their causes, and whether boards can sharpen governance oversight without crossing operational boundaries.

The Ethical Imperative: Strengthening Ethics and Advancing Meritocracy

Crucially, among the attendees, there was a strong sense of the need and desire to strengthen ethics and meritocracy to support transformation. What further became a common goal was the necessity for women to participate in leading organisations, thereby influencing organisational culture.

Nurturing Societal Contributions: Beyond Financial Gains

From an observer's perspective, this conference underscores the necessity for improving corporate governance and the enhancement of civilised order in how businesses (and SOEs) operate and conduct their affairs. This imperative calls for a fundamental shift in the ethos of business practices towards greater accountability, transparency, and ethical conduct, fostering an

environment where companies thrive financially and contribute positively to society. It is through such endeavours that sustainable, humane societies are collaboratively nurtured and cultivated.

The Spirit of National Unity: The Role of Corporate Governance in Democratic Successes

We can uphold the spirit of national unity and continue commemorating the successes of our democracy by nurturing effective and trustworthy corporate governance practices that enhance both business and society as a whole. An event of this nature ensures that corporate South Africa, the government, and its citizens engage in a constructive dialogue concerning the imperative of fortifying corporate governance. This fosters cohesion among stakeholders and a shared sense of purpose.


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