More than seven years ago, Ezra Davids and Xolani Ntamane of Bowmans published an article reflecting on shareholder rights and activism in South Africa. In the preface, they observed that shareholder activism was on the rise in South Africa, which mirrored the trend observed across the world. Prior to that, and no doubt influenced by the country's unique historical context, the type of activism that was common was from “interested parties such as trade unions”.

The nature of relationships between shareholders, boards and executives, and who is responsible for what, is a central and continuous feature of deliberations about the governance of institutions. Strategic activism has the ability to influence the direction of governance and accelerate the focus on critical issues...

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