Today's Big Stories

Some JSE-listed companies 'not forthcoming with truth' on green practices - CER

The Volkswagen test-rigging scandal has put the spotlight on the integrity of multinational organisations when it comes to environmental laws.

(Also read our article: Automotives regulator to probe VW SA implication in test-rigging scandal)

The Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) alleges that some of South Africa’s biggest listed companies are not forthcoming with the truth about their environmental compliance either.

The report, titled ‘Full Disclosure’, looks at 20 of the largest JSE-listed companies (mostly in the mining sector) and how some have allegedly violated the environmental laws between the years 2008 and 2014.

Tracey Davies, an attorney and Head of the Corporate Accountability and Transparency programme at the CER, said some of the 20 examined companies have significant environmental impact.

This is despite appearing on the JSE's Socially Responsible Investment Index.

Many of these companies are regularly breaching environmental laws and regulation and not complying with the conditions of their permits and licences. To add insult to injury, they are not accurately reflecting this when reporting to their shareholders.

Tracey Davies, head of Corporate Accountability and Transparency at CER

Listen to the full conversation from The Redi Tlhabi Show:

Companies assessed:

The CER provided each assessed company with a month to respond (prior to publication) to the findings. 17 of the 20 companies responded; Exxaro, Merafe Resources and Harmony Gold did not respond.

  • AECI Limited
  • African Rainbow Minerals Limited
  • Anglo American Platinum Limited
  • Anglo American plc
  • AngloGold Ashanti Limited
  • ArcelorMittal South Africa Limited
  • DRDGold Limited
  • Exxaro Resources Limited
  • Gold Fields Limited
  • Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited
  • Illovo Sugar Limited
  • Impala Platinum Holdings Limited
  • Lonmin plc
  • Merafe Resources Limited
  • Mondi Group
  • Nampak Limited
  • Pretoria Portland Cement Company Limited
  • Sappi Limited
  • Sasol Limited
  • Tongaat Hulett Limited

The report reveals that some companies had been found guilty of environmental offences such as toxic spills, illegal disposal of hazardous waste, and pollution of water, soil and air.

Many of these violations are not reported to company shareholders for the fear of damage to share value and dividend payouts.

Davies says public investors need to hold such companies accountable for their environmental practices and challenge the criteria used to award so-called 'socially responsible' or 'environmentally friendly' organisations.

The CER is a non-profit environmental law clinic. They are a group of environmental rights lawyers that helps communities defend their right to a healthy environment.

  • The article has been updated since its first publication after Illovo brought it to our attention that the tone of the article suggested that the company was lying about its green practices compliance, while it has been cooperating with the CER process.

Read the entire "Full Disclosure" report on the CER website.

Read More
Veterans and ANC not on same page about terms of consultative conference

Veterans and ANC not on same page about terms of consultative conference

ANC vets want civil society groups present at the consultative conference, which they want held separately from another meeting.

Top SABC journos applauded for brave testimony

Top SABC journos applauded for brave testimony

EWN's Gaye Davis summarises the evidence of the SABC journalists who appeared before the ad hoc committee in Parliament.

If you're gona be a hero (and smash a car window), make sure you can prove harm

If you're gona be a hero (and smash a car window), make sure you can prove harm

A criminal lawyer explains what leg citizens can stand on if they witness a child or pet locked in a vehicle in risky conditions.

NRCS to probe VW SA implication in test-rigging scandal

NRCS to probe VW SA implication in test-rigging scandal

The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications will compare implicated vehicle models against those that were approved in SA to see if any data was manipulated.

How the Volkswagen scandal affects SA (VWSA builds diesel engines for export)

How the Volkswagen scandal affects SA (VWSA builds diesel engines for export)

Alexander Parker, Motoring Journalist at Business Day, discusses the effects of the scandal on South Africa.

Volkswagen shares down 20% on rigged emissions tests. VW SA not off the hook

Volkswagen shares down 20% on rigged emissions tests. VW SA not off the hook

The car manufacturer has thus far set aside about R100 billion for imminent penalties. Just how much trouble is the car maker in?

Popular articles
Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

ANC branch in the Eastern Cape, Z.R Mahabana, has launched a campaign backing Lindiwe Sisuslu as an ANC presidential candidate.

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

This week Xolani Gwala's speaks to former Generations actor Pamela Nomvete for #WhatInTheWorldHappenedTo feature.

[WATCH] New adapted national anthem by students

[WATCH] New adapted national anthem by students

Fees Must Fall activists singing the national anthem with a new melody and phrases calling it a 'decolonised national anthem'.

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

After 3 years there are 3 Nic Harry stores (incl online) that sell 100 000 pairs of socks in over 20 countries around the world.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?