In this roundup:
- Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) confirms that shareholders attending an electronic AGM must be able to ask questions verbally in real-time and without an intermediary.
- SPAR falls short on legal requirement to facilitate reasonably effective participation in its AGM, by limiting shareholders participating electronically to written questions.
- Thungela Resources Limited and Exxaro Resources Limited’s refusals to table shareholder-proposed climate lobbying resolutions calls into question the coal companies’ claimed commitments to transparency.
- Claims of sustainability / ESG / climate competence at board level require substantiation.
- SPAR fails to fulfil commitment to disclose hourly base pay and hourly target base pay of its lowest-paid workers.
- Protestors at Standard Bank AGM demand that the bank end its involvement with the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
At the following AGMs, Just Share asked 34 questions relating to inequality (wage / gender pay gaps and income inequality), diversity and transformation, climate change, and related governance issues:
- SPAR Group Limited, 14 February 2023
- JSE Group Limited, 9 May 2023
- Exxaro Resources Limited, 18 May 2023
- Old Mutual Limited, 26 May 2023
- Thungela Resources Limited, 31 May 2023
- Nedbank Group Limited, 2 June 2023
- Absa Group Limited, 2 June 2023
- Standard Bank Group Limited, 12 June 2023
This first AGM roundup for 2023 summarises key issues addressed at these eight AGMs, offers insights into how these AGMs were conducted (with all companies opting to host hybrid AGMs), and highlights commitments made by the companies in response to questions asked.
In the lead-up to and just after these AGMs, Just Share published five investor briefings:
- Briefing: Standard Bank’s 2022 climate-related financial disclosures report, published 18 April 2023;
- Briefing: Nedbank Group’s 2022 Climate Report, published 4 June 2023;
- Briefing: Absa Group Limited’s 2022 climate-related financial disclosures, published 13 June 2023;
- Vertical pay gaps at JSE-listed companies, published 22 June 2023; and
- Exxaro Resources Limited & Thungela Resources Limited 2022 climate-related disclosures, published 28 June 2023.
IMAGE: 123RF / lendig