Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

Shareholder activists are gunning for fashion retailer Truworths in a bid to force changes to its board and executive management, which, 24 years after the country’s first democratic elections, continues to be dominated by white men. Transformation in the retail sector, which does not rely on government for licences or for business, has lagged sectors such as mining and financial services. With two black women on its 11-member board, of which one was appointed in February, and only two women and no blacks among its 19 divisional directors, Truworths falls short of even the low levels of transformation in the retail sector. In the mining sector, 50% of directors must be black, of which 20% must be black women. Shares in the retail sector have been hit by weak economic conditions, which have knocked consumer spending. The general retailers index is down 18.1% since the start of 2018, lagging the all share index, which has shed 12.27%. Truworths is down nearly 14%. This has added to ca...

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