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South Africa’s corporates not talking the talk at virtual shareholder meetings

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Friday, 2 July 2021 14:59

Outside the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, November 9, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko.

Corporate South African virtual annual general meetings (AGMs) need to do more to create genuine possibilities for shareholder dialogue, says a report from shareholder activist group Just Share.

The main problem is that shareholders are only able to ask written questions at virtual AGMs, making it easy for boards to evade genuine dialogue.

Just Share attended seven virtual AGMs between 21 May and 9 June: Old Mutual, Standard Bank, Exxaro Resources, Nedbank, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Absa and Sanlam. All of these were the second virtual AGM for the company concerned since the start of Covid-19.