Many of South Africa’s top companies and CEOs have committed to “Do the right thing; Stand by what is right; and Reject what is wrong” as part of the CEO Initiative Pledge. “Since the National Prosecuting Authority announced its charges against the Minister of Finance in the public arena, we consider it our right and duty to respond in public,” the group said in advertisements in the Sunday Papers. “We stand as one for the rule of law and against the decision to prosecute the Minister of Finance on charges that are, according to the preponderance of expert legal opinion, without factual or legal foundation and not in the public interest.”
“We stand against the damage this has caused to our economy and to the people of South Africa, ESPECIALLY the poor.” The CEOs and business leaders which support the initiative include Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko, Blue Label Telecoms CEO Brett Levy, and Dimension Data executive Grant Bodley. Other noteworthy leaders include Barclays Africa CEO Maria Ramos, Discovery CEO Adrian Gore, Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk, and Investec CEO Stephen Koseff.
The initiative calls on South Africans to join the fight on social media, using the hashtag #CEOPledgeSA.
What the CEO Initiative Pledge stands for
- Our Constitution and Bill of Rights, which guarantee the independence of our courts and the impartiality of our prosecuting authority, and which create the institutions strengthening constitutional democracy in our country, such as the Office of the Public Protector
- Good Governance, by which we mean transparent, rational and evidence-based policymaking in the national interest; diligent and honest delivery of public goods and services; and a private sector that holds itself – and is held – to the highest standards of corporate citizenship, corporate governance and ethics
- A vibrant democracy, including the rights to freedom of expression and to protest peacefully under the equal protection of the law
- Fast and inclusive economic growth and job creation enabled by a stable and predictable regulatory framework for business
- Social justice and transformation so that South Africa truly becomes a country that belongs to all who live in it
- Procedural and substantive justice for all
- Inclusive growth and a prosperous South Africa for all.
What the CEO Initiative Pledge stands against
- Injustice, including failures to investigate and prosecute prima facie wrongdoing and any selective, malicious or politically motivated prosecutions that cannot satisfy the public interest test
- Corruption, graft and waste in both private and public sectors
- Threats of violence and violent protest
- The damage to growth, job creation and transformation caused by policy uncertainty and by self-seeking behaviour in both the private and public sectors
- Persistent unfairness and inequity in the economy
CEO Initiative Pledge Signatories
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