The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) will award certificates to women who completed the Corporate Governance Development Programme, which aims to increase the pool of trained candidates for possible appointment on boards of public and private entities.
The certificates will be handed out by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Mzwandile Masina at the Corporate Governance and Ethics Seminar to be hosted by the department at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria on 20 March.
The dti has to date trained approximately 200 women in its partnership with the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa (IoDSA) and the South African Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (SAWEN).
The seminar aims to discuss the increasing importance of good governance and ethical conduct in the private and public sector.
It provides a platform for business and government leaders to communicate what should constitute ethical and good governance in daily businesses.
Speakers will also share measures that can be taken practically to encourage good governance, including measures to curb the scourge of corruption.
One of the policy objectives for the Companies Act, 2008 is to enhance transparency and corporate governance in companies.
This was informed by a number of corporate failures resulting from gaps in governance. When companies fail, employees are affected and it often results in strategic productive assets exiting the economy as companies get liquidated, the dti said.
The Corporate Governance Development Programme was initiated to promote the principles of good governance espoused in the Companies Act and the King Code of Governance Principles.
Further, it seeks to facilitate transformation of company boards to reflect the demographics of South Africa, hence women became the first group to be targeted for training.
The programme was launched by the former Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Elizabeth Thabethe, in September 2013.
The focus in 2015 is on the second phase of the programme, which is placing each trainee on a company board as an observer in one meeting to obtain practical exposure regarding the workings of boards.
Most companies have heeded to the request from the dti and have opened their board meetings to trainees of the programme to attend meetings as observers.