Southern Africa Network
The South Africa Network was launched in May 2009 with support from the Government Employees Pension Fund of South Africa (GEPF), the largest pension fund in South Africa. In order to better meet signatories’ needs, the Network has since expanded its focus to better serve the region, with efforts underway to improve service delivery to Namibia, Zambia and Botswana. The networks serves as a platform for PRI signatories in Southern Africa to discuss ideas, share experiences and collaborate on a range of ESG issues that are material to investment decision-making. GEPF has played a leading role in developing the network and acts as the network Chair.
During 2012, it has supported an initiative by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Principal Officers Association (POA) regarding a project on sustainable investments (Sustainable Returns for Pensions and Society). The project’s main focus is to develop learning tools and case studies to enable more effective ESG investment practices.
Other recent achievements and joint work include support for the establishment of the Code for Responsible Investment in South Africa (CRISA), and a collaborative engagement guidance document developed in partnership with the Takeover Regulation Panel to address concerns around “Acting in Concert” issues.
Current working groups include:
- Engagement Working Group
Focused on the regulatory challenges currently facing collaborative shareholder engagement in South Africa. The group investigates potential collaborative engagements with local companies and creates opportunities for dialogue with public policymakers.
- Awareness and Recruitment Working Group
Focused on raising awareness about the materiality of ESG issues to investment processes among asset owners, investment managers and service providers in the country, and recruiting new signatories.
Southern Africa Network Steering Committee members as of March 2014:
- Adrian Bertrand, Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF)
- David Couldridge, Element Investment Management
- Jon Duncan, Old Mutual Investment Group South Africa
- Malcolm Fair, RisCura
- Malcolm Gray, Investec Asset Management
- Monika Kraushaar, Momentum Manager of Managers
- Lungani Sibiya, Eskom Pension and Provident Fund