Corporate governance in South Africa received a major update in early November and its authors hope it changes the focus from box-ticking to a mindset where good corporate governance creates value.
“The overarching objective of King IV is to make corporate governance more accessible and relevant to a wider range of organisations, and to be the catalyst for a shift from a compliance-based mindset to one that sees corporate governance as a lever for value creation,” said Professor Mervyn King, chairperson of the King Committee on Corporate Governance in South Africa.
The King IV Report on Corporate Governance (King IV), the latest update of the philosophy, principles and leading practices for corporate governance in South Africa, will be released by the King Committee and the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA).
Appropriately for a code that “seeks to make corporate governance more accessible and relevant”, King IV is be available via app download from App Store or Google Play. It will also be available as a digital copy from www.iodsa.co.za or as a printed copy for purchase through Lexis Nexis.
The IoDSA said in a statement that the language of the report had been broadened, ensuring that the vocabulary was no longer listed company and business-specific. Supplements had been provided to make it easier to adapt the code to different industry sectors, including government bodies and non-profit organisations.
In addition, it said, King III’s 75 principles have been reduced to 16, with an additional 17th principle applicable to institutional investors such as retirement funds and insurance companies.
At a deeper level, the IoDSA said, King IV links governance to outcomes, thereby emphasising not what practices had been implemented but rather what their impact had been on achieving the 16 principles.
Ansie Ramalho, King IV Report project lead for the IoDSA, said King IV aimed to make corporate governance understandable beyond the circle of consultants, technicians and academics.
“King IV is the product of wide consultation, and belongs to all South Africans – organisations and individuals – to whom good governance matters,” she said.