Integrated reporting training starts at Coega

‘Breaking new ground’ in compliance

Corporate governance and compliance guru, Prof. Mervyn King, will start training staff at the Coega Development Corporation in Port Elizabeth this week.
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The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is moving its corporate reporting structures into the twenty-first century through landmark steps to launch fully integrated reporting across the organisation.

The CDC in conjunction with TSK Training and Conferences will host integrated reporting expert, Prof Mervyn King, at a workshop on 2 July.

The meeting will target the organisation’s high level executives who will decide the organisation’s direction in streamlining its approach to reporting information.

“Coega is breaking new ground in adopting integrated reporting – and, as always, we aim to be the leader of the pack when it comes to corporate governance and practises,” said CDC head of marketing and communications, Ayanda Vilakazi.

“Prof. King is not only a thought leader, but has immense practical knowledge, particularly through his production of the King reports on governance, of how to absorb and integrate vast amounts of data and link it directly to strategy, governance, finance and operations.

"His contribution to the future direction of the CDC is going to be invaluable,” he said. 

King, senior counsel and former judge of the Supreme Court, is a pioneer in the study of integrated reporting, chair of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) serving as chairman of the King Committee on Corporate Governance in South Africa, which produced King I, II and III, and first vice-president of the Institute of Directors Southern Africa.

He will show how various factors – globalisation, complexity, growing policy activity in response to financial, governance and other crises, heightened, expectations of corporate transparency and accountability, actual and prospective resource scarcity, population growth, and environmental concerns – should be reflected in contemporary reporting to enable better organisational practice.

“Long reports no longer benefit organisations if they do not relate back to the overall sustainability, global vision and strategy of organisations.

"Reporting has generally developed in silos, and key links between strategy, governance, operations and financial and non-financial performance are streamlined,” King said.

“A framework is needed to draw together separate and disconnected strands of reporting into a coherent, integrated whole, and demonstrate an organisation’s ability to create value now and in the future – this is what I would like to achieve working with the CDC executives – a plan for how broad-range sustainability, and reporting thereon – can be woven into the very fibre of the organisation’s practice,” he said.

The benefits to the CDC will be immense the organisation believes, with CDC sustainability coordinator, Johann Brink saying reporting influences organisational behaviour and therefore needs to filter down from the top but also come from the bottom-up.

“Effectively, integrated reporting will change the entire organisation and ensure that strategy is intimately linked with daily practice,” said Brink.

“The CDC has long focused on sustainability – but the concept has become more all-encompassing, moving from connotations around financial and environmental sustainability to more diverse applications of total organisational integration for overall sustainability.”

Integrated reporting brings together material information about an organisation’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects in a way that reflects the commercial, social and environmental context within which it operates.

It provides a clear and concise representation of how an organisation demonstrates stewardship and how it creates and sustains value.

The CDC is also likely to participate in a global pilot of the IIRC's new framework, geared to facilitate the development of reporting over the coming decades.

The core objective of the framework is to guide organisations on communicating the broad set of information needed by investors and other stakeholders to assess the organisation’s long-term prospects in a clear, concise, connected and comparable format.

“This will enable organisations, their investors and others to make better short- and long-term decisions,” added Vilakazi.

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Issue 42