Board of Directors’ perspective on corporate governance
The Transnet Board of Directors views good governance as a vital component in operating a successful and sustainable business, as well as providing assurance to stakeholders that the Company is well managed. Our formal governance structures oversee the Company´s ethical performance through codes, policies and processes, and ensure that structural accountability and principled behaviour are promoted throughout the organisation. We acknowledge, however, that good governance is ultimately about good decision-making, which is dependent on transparency and the availability of accurate information – particularly as it pertains to the Company´s financial well-being and the quality of its relationships with all stakeholders.
Achieving good corporate governance is a multi-faceted and ongoing process. It requires deep understanding of the interplay of strategy, value creation, the organisation´s socio-economic and political environment, and the fundamentals of human nature. As we move into the new and exciting paradigm of the 4th Industrial Revolution, we need to ask ourselves whether our existing governance structures remain ‘fit for purpose´ considering current financial and economic conditions, emerging digital platforms, industry disruptions, and the need to upskill and adapt accordingly.
We should also consider how these frameworks have functioned in practice over the last two decades and whether our corporate culture is enabling our governance codes, structures and processes. A healthy corporate culture and sound governance structures cannot be mutually exclusive if we are serious about driving long-term sustainability for Transnet. Therefore, the Board of Directors must focus on the economic, social and environmental well-being of the Company.
As a State-owned Company, our governance function supports the Company´s ability to achieve the commercial and developmental imperatives set out in the MDS. To this end, the Board of Directors ensures that programmes to create value for all stakeholders are developed and monitored. Visible good governance – ‘good governance in action´ – can create value as it helps us to build social trust, maintain investor credibility and promote institutional integrity, as this action is undertaken by people. As the Board of Directors, we acknowledge our responsibility to hold our people accountable for their actions, and vice versa. As we gear up for growth, our governance should reflect our evolution by enhancing existing compliance structures and practices, regardless of how mature we consider them to be. This requires a mutually designed and agreed system of ethical behaviour by all our people that collectively support Transnet´s long-term vision for value creation. In a nutshell, ‘governance´ should not just be about how we do things at Transnet, but how we actively live the Transnet brand.