Progress on transformation is as follows:
- Skills development: Continues to be integral to the deployment of the best skills, with a workplace skills plan submitted to the services SETA. Beyond the training reported on in the sustainability report, the committee directs emphasis on the roll-out of the planned ethics and leadership training during 2020.
- Socioeconomic development: Initiatives and partnerships are in place to invest in communities building digital, technical and mathematics skills to empower future generations, delivering a comprehensive programme.
- Enterprise and supplier development: The supplier and enterprise development landscape has been forensically analysed for ethical performance, with robust new measures in place to ensure anti-corruption and bribery within the supply chain and tendering processes.
- Employment Equity: There has been an ongoing focus on the development of talent, with particular progress on gender equality and representation at a senior level, taken as an opportunity when filling emergent talent gaps during the course of the year.
- Stakeholder interaction: Extensive stakeholder engagement has taken place to repair reputational damage sustained during the earlier part of the year. However, there is more work to be done in the coming year.
The committee monitors EOH's activities in terms of legislation, regulation and Codes of Best Practice relating to ethics, stakeholder engagement, strategic empowerment and compliance with transformation codes. The committee applies international best practice to provide guidance to management in respect of its duties relating to social, ethics, transformation and sustainability issues.
Anushka Bogdanov (Chairperson of the committee)
Dr Lynette Moretlo Molefi
Stephen van Coller
The committee is responsible for:
- the ethical conduct of the Company, its executives and senior officials, including review and approval of the EOH Code of Conduct;
- review and approval of anti-corruption policies to ensure a zero tolerance approach that is futureproof;
- policy for sustainable development, including targets and recommendations to the Board of directors, aligned to the UN 2030 Agenda;
- policy for B-BBEE, Employment Equity ('EE'), diversity and transformation, including principles, targets, initiatives, programmes, and implementation;
- compliance and alignment with the B-BBEE Act 53 of 2003 as amended by the B-BBEE Act 46 of 2013, monitoring achievement;
- company performance as a good corporate citizen, as defined in the King IV Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa 2016 (King IV);
- guidance on the social and economic development activities of the Company including health, public safety, and the environment;
- guidance regarding stakeholder engagement, including the development of communities and associated sponsorships and donations;
- the responsible management of data and compliance with the PAIA Manual and the Protection of Personal Information Act ('POPI Act'); and
- monitoring changes in legislation and to social and ethical codes, to ensure that the company is compliant.
Activities during the year
The committee was suspended during the early part of 2019 while the focus of the Board was redirected toward the recovery of the Company's reputation following the identification of wrongdoing and the need to take mitigating action. During this time, the Board was reconstituted with a new membership to reflect the relevant skills and experience required to deliver future governance.
As such, the Social and Ethics Committee was re-established in September 2019, with a refreshed membership. It has been mobilised to deliver governance of all relevant aspects of section 72 of the Companies Act, read in conjunction with Regulation 43 of the Companies Regulations, 2011.
Transformation and B-BBEE
The first steps of the committee were to focus on the immediate status of the company's B-BBEE rating, including delivery upon the EE Plan, and performance within the B-BBEE rating process, based on the amended ICT sector code and the training and development of employees. The Board recognises that social transformation is critical for the sustainability of the Group and the committee continued the ongoing drive towards economic and social equity through the process of B-BBEE. The best measure of EOH success in this regard is the ongoing attainment of a Level 1 contributor rating, under the South African Department of Trade and Industry ('DTI') Code of Good Practice, the highest rating of its peers on the JSE.
The Board will continue to monitor the implementation of B-BBEE in terms of EE, ownership, enterprise development, and skills development.
Vision for 2020
Over the course of 2019, the EOH Group was found to be wanting from an ethical perspective. Much has been done to rectify this, with further work to be done, as outlined within the broader integrated report, and as defined in the CODE action plan for 2020. The committee universally gives its undertaking that it gives its firm commitment to courageous, ethical, responsible, and ambitious action to drive forward an ethical and high performing culture, aligned to a sustainable development strategy that will actualise EOH as a force for the good, repairing our reputation, and living our purpose to create sustainable value for our stakeholders.
Reporting and compliance
EOH complies with the relevant environmental, social and governance regulatory reporting requirements. Such reporting is guided by the Global Reporting Initiatives ('GRI') guidelines.
The committee confirms that EOH gives the necessary attention to its transformation, social and ethics responsibilities and has complied with the required regulatory requirements. Policies and programmes are in place to advance social and economic development, sound ethical behaviour, fair labour practices, responsible environmental practices and good customer relations. It has also diligently worked to ensure justice and to root out wrongdoing, noting that this is a process that will be ongoing. The committee commits to conducting its affairs in compliance with its terms of reference and intends to discharge its responsibilities, living its purpose as a force for the good.
Chairperson, Social and Ethics Committee
23 October 2019