The role of the company secretary has in past times been referred to as the “keeper of secrets
”. This title was aptly attached to the person responsible for recording the minutes of a (business) meeting containing sensitive or legal information, and being discussed amongst a privileged few.
In many countries, government and large businesses is dependant upon suppliers and contractors to provide various services and products, as a critical support to their operations.
The recent phone hacking and banking scandals in Europe have again illustrated the importance of corporate governance; showcasing the manner in which organisations can incur irreparable damage to their reputation when they do not pay correct attention to their governance practices.
Throughout the history of mankind, much has been said and written about change
What is now crystal clear for directors and prescribed officers -- particularly since the launch of the Companies Act 2008 (‘the Act’) which became effective on 01 May 2011
Most notably, and after the collapse of many well known corporations, including the countless scandals of poor corporate governance practices and corruption;
Following the introduction of the new Companies Act No.71 of 2008, (‘the Act’), employees may well want to establish with their HR departments whether or not their job-related functions fall within the ambit of a prescribed officer
, as defined in the Act.
There is no doubt that South Africa has enjoyed a center stage over the past few decades; from having been damned by the world for its previous apartheid policies and then followed with praise and admiration post 1994, when our country demonstrated its first free and fair democratic elections.
In a competitive market, businesses are struggling to find a competitive edge and a unique selling position for their products and services, whilst at the same time trying to deal with a web of complex laws, and increasing pressure to ensure that the company is compliant with sound governance practices.
“When asking companies what they actually
do on a practical level when one of their employees or their employee’s loved ones get diagnosed with a dread disease like cancer, I was surprised to find that most often they can’t answer and have no idea of how many survivors they have amongst their employees”, says Karin Metz, Volunteer Chairperson of CANSA Corporate Relay For Life and Executive Director BNI.