Just Share is a non-profit shareholder activism and responsible investment organisation. We promote the use of investor power for a fairer South Africa.
We use advocacy, engagement and activism to support active ownership and responsible investment which drives good corporate citizenship by South African-listed companies. Our work focuses on three key ESG issues, and the intersection between them: inequality, climate change and diversity and transformation.
What is the problem?
South Africa faces enormous challenges of poverty, inequality and environmental degradation. Our relatively small pool of large institutional investors, coupled with some of the most progressive responsible investment legislation and corporate governance initiatives in the world, should mean that investors are using their power to drive good corporate citizenship and hold companies accountable for negative environmental and social impacts.
But claimed commitments to responsible investment and the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into investment decisions, have not had a meaningful impact on how companies behave.
What needs to change?
- Asset owners, especially pension funds, must do more to comply with their fiduciary duty to ensure the long term sustainability of their funds’ investments.
- Asset owners must do so by clearly articulating their investment beliefs and unambiguously mandating asset managers to ensure that environmental, social and governance factors are integrated into investment decision-making processes. There must be consequences for failing to do so.
- Asset managers must be more transparent in their engagements with company management.
- Engagement strategies must have clear escalation mechanisms, so that companies cannot continuously make promises and commitments that are never realised.
- Active ownership must be public and have consequences for companies that fail to address investor concerns.