IIA SA finds 3.5 percent improvement in corporate governance and ethics

Acting CEO Charles Nel: leaders must reflect honesty, accountability, integrity, fair justice and good conduct.

The Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa (IIA SA) has scheduled the release of their seventh corporate governance index 2019 report for Thursday 21 November. 

The report, which offers an overview of South African organisations’ governance ratings from the perspective of chief audit executives, shows a 3.5 percent improvement in both corporate governance and ethics, despite concerns raised at various commissions of inquiry.

IIA SA acting CEO Charles Nel said that ethics had a rating of 3.4 out of four in 2013 and 2015. In 2018, the rating dropped to 2.8 and only rose slightly to 2.9 in 2019. 

“It indicates that ethical behaviour and practices must be instilled at a leadership level,” Nel said. “Leaders in organisations must reflect honesty, accountability, integrity, fair justice and good conduct, which is then, in turn, reflected throughout the organisation among key stakeholders including employees, customers and suppliers.” 

However, despite the improvement, the report states that only 14 percent of those canvassed revealed that ethics in national government are important. 

This comes at a time where investigations into state capture, the SA Revenue Service, the fitness to hold office of top prosecutors and into the Public Investment Commission (PIC) have revealed evidence of senior executives and managers in both the public and private sector flouted corporate governance and ethics.