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Social and ethics committee report

Sipho Ngidi
Acting Chairperson,
Social and Ethics Committee

"The role of the Social and Ethics Committee has been of paramount importance during this year, as we have sought to look after the well‑being of our employees, our communities and indeed the country at large during the COVID‑19 pandemic. As we move into 2021, we will continue to strive to be a force for good and deliver sustainable transformation."

Focus for 2021

  • New socioeconomic development strategy to be developed
  • Inclusion strategy to be rolled-out Group-wide
  • Embed sustainability activities across the organisation
  • Revisit our stakeholder engagement approach
  • A focus on skills development in technology

Committee composition:

Sipho Ngidi (Interim Chairperson of the committee)
Dr Lynette Moretlo Molefi* Non-executive Director
Ismail Mamoojee Non-executive Director
Stephen van Coller Executive Director
Fatima Newman Executive Director

* Resigned 23 October 2020

The number of meetings and attendance per committee member are shown in the Corporate governance section.

Regular invited attendees: HR Director, Head of Risk and Chief Compliance Officer.

The summaries in the EOH board of directors provide the Directors' qualifications and experience.

Committee purpose

The responsibilities of the Social and Ethics Committee (the committee) include monitoring EOH's activities in terms of legislation, regulations and Codes of Best Practice relating to ethics, stakeholder engagement, strategic empowerment and compliance with transformation codes.

The committee provides guidance to management regarding international best practice in respect of its duties relating to social, ethics, transformation and sustainability issues.

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 (POPIA); and
  • monitoring changes in legislation and to social and ethical codes, to ensure that the company is compliant.

Activities during the year

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.

Focus areas Response
Transformation and B-BBEE
  • Monitoring the implementation of B-BBEE in terms of employment equity, ownership, enterprise development, and skills development.
  • Approved the Diversity and Inclusion policy.
  • Identified eight SDGs aligned to EOH's six sustainability themes.
  • Developed and implemented a Group sustainability policy and strategy.
Ethical culture
  • Detailed ethics programme developed and implemented across the Group.
  • Focus on ethics programme training including, but not limited to, the Code of Conduct.
  • Programme designed to move EOH up on the corporate governance maturity curve.

Transformation and B-BBEE

The committee is focused on the status of the company's B-BBEE rating, including delivery upon the EE Plan, 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.

In line with the Group's focus on building an inclusive organisation, a Group policy on anti-discrimination and harassment was developed and rolled out across the organisation. A total of five EE committees across the Group were reconstituted which involved the development of a new constitution and training. For the period under review, 30 EE committee meetings were recorded.

Reporting and compliance

With the implementation of lockdown regulations the business had to be agile in its response to its employees. In the first month of lockdown special lockdown leave was implemented in order to not prejudice employees. Further to that special COVID-19 leave for family responsibility was also put in place. EOH ran two separate surveys to assess wellness and challenges faced by employees. Engagement with employees took place weekly in the form of town halls to discuss and share insight into the pandemic and the Company's response to it. In the interest of mental health, wellness Wednesdays were instituted and to date over 3 500 employees participated in these sessions.


EOH complies with the relevant environmental, social and governance regulatory reporting requirements. Such reporting is guided by the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) Standards.


EOH has the necessary policies and programmes in place to advance social and economic development, sound ethical behaviour, fair labour practices, responsible environmental practices and good customer relations. The Company continues to work diligently to ensure justice and root out wrongdoing. The committee confirms that EOH gives the necessary attention to its transformation, social and ethics responsibilities and has complied with the required regulatory requirements. The committee is satisfied that it discharged its responsibilities set out in its terms of reference during the year.

Sipho Ngidi
Interim Chairperson, Social and Ethics Committee

1 December 2020