BONANG MOHALE: Ethical business is needed to unlock SA’s economic potential
Painful lessons about corporate governance in the public and private sectors have been learned in the decade since the onset of state capture
In the decade since the onset of the phenomenon of state capture in SA we have learned some painful lessons about corporate governance in both the public and private sectors. These are not unique to SA, or to state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in developing countries generally. For well more than a generation, the trend in public administration and business in developed countries has been to subvert systems of good governance and accountability. The failure of the Enron Corporation in late 2001, apart from being the largest corporate bankruptcy in the US, threw up a myriad of questions about the effectiveness of contemporary accounting, auditing and corporate governance practices. Specifically, for corporate SA we witnessed the country’s largest company, Naspers, drawn into controversy over the behaviour of its subsidiary MultiChoice amid allegations of state capture. The spectacular collapse of Steinhoff, not only one of the country’s largest companies but also seemingly one of the mos...