As businesses across South Africa work to adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of sustainability standards and regulations, understanding the practical implications of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors is essential for success. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has been at the forefront of this effort, supporting companies as they navigate the complex world of sustainability standards.
Craig Kensley, founder of GrowZA Social Investment Agency, highlights the importance of drawing on ESG insights when managing clients' social investment portfolios in South Africa. GrowZA is dedicated to providing thought leadership in the field of social investment, helping clients make informed decisions about their investments, and ensuring their contributions have a lasting impact on society.
By leveraging the JSE's guidance and the latest global best practices, GrowZA can ensure that their clients' investments not only yield financial returns but also contribute to a more sustainable future for South Africa. The agency focuses on tax-deductible donations to NGOs in South Africa, further promoting sustainable development and social impact.
One way that GrowZA is driving social investment thought leadership in South Africa is by promoting inclusive wealth creation through Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) initiatives. The JSE Investor Services (JIS) is set to introduce an electronic system by the end of January 2023 that simplifies and streamlines BEE verification, reducing paperwork and administrative burdens.
Carol Crozier, CEO of JIS, says, "Our aim is to make the lives of our issuers and retail shareholders easier while ensuring that retail shareholders have a conduit to the company they're invested in." The new verification system is powered by the JSE ShareHub, a centralized hub that provides a full audit trail of shareholder activity and can be tailored for individual needs or targeted campaigns.
The introduction of this BEE verification platform is expected to boost trading and investment in the empowerment segment, as it enables brokers, issuers, agents, and asset managers to easily log on to the ShareHub platform, access the shareholder's verification, and initiate the trading process. This initiative complements the existing JIS services, including BEE advisory and administration, registry, and listing of BEE schemes.
Ultimately, the goal of JIS, the JSE, and organizations like GrowZA Social Investment Agency is to facilitate inclusive wealth creation in South Africa through ESG and BBBEE initiatives. By streamlining the process for BEE share-ownership schemes, they aim to empower black shareholders and enable previously disadvantaged South Africans to own a stake in a company and participate in its growth.
By incorporating these insights into their services, the JSE and GrowZA Social Investment Agency can help drive responsible and prudent BBBEE scorecard responses while promoting sustainable development in South Africa. This commitment to ESG, social investment, and thought leadership makes GrowZA an ideal partner for investors and NGOs looking to make a meaningful impact on society.