Members of the Massmart Social and Ethics Committee are the Massmart CEO and two non-Executive Directors. The Committee is chaired by an independent non-Executive Director. An independent external advisor, the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, the Group Ethics Officer, the Group Corporate Affairs Executive, the Group General Counsel and the Group Human Capital Executive attend meetings by invitation.
The Committee is governed by a charter and monitors Group performance in terms of defined Social and Ethics performance indicators that have been formulated with reference to Regulation 43(5) of the Companies Act.
These indicators, which include but are not limited to, OECD anti-corruption guidelines, United Nations Global Compact principles, the Employment Equity Act, Johannesburg Stock Exchange Responsible Investment Index criteria and Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment elements, are reviewed by the Committee, on a rotational or core agenda basis.
The charter is currently undergoing review in order to ensure alignment to the requirements of the King IV Code of Corporate Governance, which will be adopted during the fourth quarter of 2017.
The Committee met twice during the year ended December 2016, at which meetings performance in the following areas was reviewed, in response to the requirements of the Companies Act:
- Ethics and anti-corruption compliance;
- Consumer and product safety;
- Responsible sourcing;
- Human capital management;
- Regulatory and compliance matters;
- Stakeholder relations;
- Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) and socio-economic development; and
- Environmental impact.
The Committee monitored the Company’s activities, having regard to the relevant Company policies, any relevant legislation, other legal requirements or prevailing codes of best practice with regard to matters relating to good ethical conduct, with reference to the Group’s Code of Ethical Conduct, related policies and accepted best practice.
These meetings were supplemented by regular management briefings to the Committee Chairman regarding key topics including: Massmart’s response to the impact of drought on food prices, high priority product recalls, transformation progress within Massmart, the #FeesMustFall campaign’s implications, Greenpeace Africa renewable energy focus, World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature red-listing of Skip Jack tuna and impact of American Fowl Brood disease on local honey production, amongst others.
The Committee confirms that no material issues were identified by the Social and Ethics Committee during the 2016 reporting period.
Chairman of the Social and Ethics Committee
31 March 2017
More information on the Social and Ethics Committee’s roles and responsibilities can be found here