Following the corporate scandals around KPMG and Steinhoff International, the legitimacy of business has fallen to levels not seen in recent history. This fall from grace is not just a result of accounting irregularities but a consequence of an obsession with individual enrichment, short-term financial focus, the parochial thinking of management and downright ethical failures. Leftist critics of free markets assume there is a fraudulent aspect to capitalism, and in SA for many it is easier to see the destructive part of capitalism than its creative side. In a country such as ours, the scars from decades of corporate complicity in economic crimes will take a long time to heal, but in the interim mistrust lingers between business and ordinary people. However, it would be far too easy to condemn all corporates as social outlaws. The role of corporates as powerful instruments of progress, innovation and development is often ignored or overlooked. An inclusive corporate sector lies firml...

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