ESG the context of South Africa

 

In South Africa the discourse concerning an integrated approach to seemingly disparate issues such as Environmental, Societal and Governance (ESG) concerns, has a rich and deep history. In the context of a Democratic South Africa, our 1996 Constitution, establishes the foundation for the legal and policy architecture that seeks to address the interconnectivity of our physical environment and the inherent and rich resources of the land, the ethics and morals that guide us as a society and the structures and duties of our government to ensure that this is stewarded in a sustainable manner. In this way the Constitution underpins and frames the discussion on ESG in South Africa. Although there are abundant examples in our Constitution, Chapters 2, The Bill of Rights, and Chapter 13, which focuses on Finance, provide an abundant source of pragmatic goals.

As stated in Chapter 2: Section 9.1: “Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law” and Section 24.b: “Everyone has the right to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations” and as professed in Chapter 13 . 215 (1) “National, provincial and municipal budgets and budgetary processes must promote transparency, accountability and the effective financial management of the economy, debt and the public sector”. These examples can be said to contain the attributes of integrated thinking and action, which is of course the key driver in delivering ESG centric outcomes.