Samkin, G. & Lawrence, S. R. (2005). Limits to corporate social responsibility: The challenge of HIV/Aids to sustainable business in South Africa. (Department of Accounting Working Paper Series, Number 83). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/1682
The legacy of apartheid in South Africa is a divided society with extremes of wealth and poverty. The ANC government has resisted the temptation to overthrow all the institutions established under the apartheid regime and has opted for a slow transformation of society and gradual empowerment of the Black population. The government has attempted to foster private sector initiatives for economic growth, job creation and black empowerment. It has adopted a neoliberal economic policy aiming for growth rather than re-distribution. This paper examines the role and conduct of government and business in contributing to improving general social well-being in a post-apartheid social democracy. In particular establishing what individual firms were doing and the extent of their involvement and reporting of socially responsible activities related to HIV/AIDS in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Interviews were held with representatives from a wide range of influential groups such as the Institute of Directors of SA, Chambers of Commerce, SA Institute of Chartered Accountants and, Trade Unions. In addition, site visits were made to three companies. The evidence suggests that although a changing consciousness on the part of individual enterprises in South Africa is taking place, greater rather than lesser inequality is emerging, with an economic apartheid replacing a racial one. This may be a surprising result in the post-apartheid South African social democracy.
Department of Accounting Working Paper Series, No. 83
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