A Chartered Secretaries of South Africa ceremony that raises the profile of good reporting, awarding those who excelled in their fields

The Annual Report Awards, co-hosted by Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa (CSSA) and the JSE, took place at the Montecasino ballroom on 14 November 2013. The ceremony recognised the importance of good governance and reporting in the face of a rapidly changing business world and was attended by companies across various sectors.

By entering, companies get an opportunity to appraise their reports against international best practice and for peer-to-peer comparison. The highly regarded awards are the longest-standing in the country and have recognised excellence in corporate reporting across a number of categories since 1956. In addition to JSE-listed companies, state-owned companies, the public sector and NGOs also participate. Further, the awards are open to companies and organisations in SADC countries.

This event is undoubtedly becoming a firm favourite on the calendars of Southern African companies as more and more businesses recognise the importance and significance of the ceremony.

The winners in the various categories are as follows:

• Overall winner: Nedbank Group

• Top 40: Sasol Gold Fields

• Best sustainable report: Aspen Pharmacare Holdings

• Mid-cap: Altron

• State-owned companies: Eskom Holdings and Transnet

• Small cap: Merafe Resources

• Fledgling: Crookes Brothers

• Non-listed: HomeChoice Holdings

• Regional company: Wilderness Holdings

• NGO: Cotlands

Making an impact
Raymond Pillay, president of CSSA, introduced the awards. He said: ‘The byline of the Annual Report Awards – the benchmark for integrated reporting – underlines the growing process around the world driven by our very own Mervyn King, who chairs the International Integrated Reporting Council. SA is recognised as a world leader in integrated reporting and the companies present here tonight are the very people leading integrated reporting.

‘Over the years, our institute has seen the evolution of the principles of good governance. However, the primary objective of our profession centres on being the conscience of the company and the custodian of corporate governance.

‘The past decade has seen this primary role evolve to include compliance, risk management, legal advice and integrated reporting. Good corporate governance is critical in the business decision making process.’

‘We, as responsible corporate citizens in major companies, are required to expand on other views of success and redefine it’


Pillay went on to say: ‘We, as responsible corporate citizens in major companies are required to expand on other views of success and redefine it in terms of lasting positive impacts for business, society and the environment hence integrating sustainability in its true sense.

‘We continue to strive towards being a world-class professional institute and in doing so we intend to influence the major decision-makers in government and corporations in shaping the governance agenda and implementing best practices that will enable the integrated performance of responsible corporate citizens.’

The guest speaker for the evening was Kimi Makwetu, then Deputy Auditor-General of South Africa. He commented on the vital importance of the event in calendars of businesses across Southern Africa.

‘What the awards encompass and celebrate is people wanting to do good and these people must be encouraged. The basic stuff isn’t getting done right. But if we persevere with diligence then we can achieve what is intended.

‘We in the public sector must also play our part and perhaps we have been guilty of causing confusion and uncertainty in the language we use and the way we communicate with the public. We must try and demystify our words and be more transparent. Tonight I want to congratulate you all as the trailblazers.

‘Winners are those that never fail or quit. We need to start doing things differently. An old wise lady said: “Life is tough, but if we try to always do the right thing, the end will be better than the beginning”.’

When the time came to present the awards, Stephen Sadie, CEO of CSSA, called upon sponsors and directors of CSSA to present them. Before handing out each award, a brief summary of the judges’ comments was provided.

The 2013 judges included:

• Zubair Wadee – Director at PwC and convenor of judges.

• Tania Wimberley – Head: Financial Reporting, Issuer Regulations, JSE.

• Linda de Beer – Wits School of Accountancy.

• John Ford – Gordon Institute of Business Science.

• Joel Wolpert – Director of CSSA.

• Johann Neethling – Director of CSSA.

• Stephen Cranston – Associate editor of the Financial Mail.

• Helen Starke – NGO consultant.

The CSSA thanked the following sponsors without whom the Annual Report Awards would not have been possible: Link Market Services; Business Day; Diligent Boardbooks; Sappi; GIBS; PwC; Talent Africa and the Auditor-General of South Africa.
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