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The role of leadership in both the public and private sector has become pivotal amid the crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic and the South African government’s reaction thereto under the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 as amended.
According to the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa (“IODSA”), the King lV Report on Corporate Governance (“King IV”) recognises Companies as integral parts of the broader society. Also, King IV defines corporate governance as the exercise of ethical and practical leadership by the management towards the achievement of defined governance outcomes: ethical culture, good performance, effective control, and legitimacy.
How then should boards, governing bodies and Management as envisioned in the Companies Act 71 of 2008 as amended (the “Act”), adapt? And, what is expected of them in this context?
According to the IODSA, three main components – as a point of departure, have been highlighted
As a first step, before anything is undertaken, a specific focus on human health and safety and the broader responsibilities flowing from there, should be the main priority.
Therefore, the following should be considered:
In the absence of relevant experience when conducting the skills mentioned above, encourage the Company to seek out best practices, locally and globally, newly available resources and guidance issued by regulators, and external advice where appropriate.
Where revision and alignment are taking place, the extent to which the current governance process and structures are working or need to be revisited needs to be established. A proper record should be kept of its deliberations, especially the critical matters considered, key decisions and the reasons therefore. Importantly, assess the adequacy of reporting. It should enable the necessity of Management to deal with issues expeditiously and keep them accountable.
Companies should ask themselves whether measures that are being considered align with the following:
After Covid-19 and Conclusion
It is essential to adequately consider and assess whether changes that are being adopted would have long term sustainability and relevance post-COVID-19. The following are critical towards achieving this:
For further insights around managing your workplace more effectively in this new normal, visit the LexisNexis COVID-19 Resource Centre at : http://ow.ly/wpUY50AzR6w