Corporate Governance

The Board of Directors of Sabcap is responsible for the corporate governance framework and Sabcap and its subsidiaries and is accountable to stakeholders for the performance, activities and control of the Group.


The King IV Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa was released in November 2016 with early adoption being encouraged by theJSE. King JVTM advocates an outcome based approach and defines corporate governance as the exercise of ethical and effective leadership towards achieving the following governance outcomes:

  • Ethical culture
  • Good Performance
  • Effective control
  • Legitimacy

Sabcap has set out its governance structures in line with the 16 principles of King IVTM on an apply and explain basis. The application of recommended practices has been adopted and reported on as appropriate for an investment holding company.

The Board is committed to complying with legislation, regulations, best practices and governance standards relevant to the Group in alignment with the aspirational nature of King IVTM principles.

Principle 1:

The governing body should lead ethically and effectively

The Board maintains a high level of individual and collective responsibilities, accountability, fairness and transparency, which together drive a culture of risk awareness, ethical behavior and value creation.

The Board is responsible for the strategic direction of the Group which it considers in conjunction with the Group's ethics charter which is the basis for deliberations, decisions and actions of the Board. The Board endorses and accepts responsibility for achieving the values underpinning good governance, namely, integrity, competence, fairness, responsibility, transparency and accountability.

The Board provides effective and responsible leadership in a way that supports sustainable business and in consideration of the impacts on society, the environment, stakeholders and sustainability.

The Board acts as the custodian of governance and has approved the formal charter that sets out its responsibilities. The Board is responsible for appointing the CEO and for monitoring his management of the performance of the Group's assets against strategic and financial objectives.

The Board delegates specific responsibility to appropriately mandated and constituted committees. The Audit and Risk Committee and the Social and Ethics Committee fulfil the statutory governance requirements for the Group.

The Company follows a stakeholder inclusive approach as set out in Principle 16.

Directors are required to disclose in writing any conflicts of interest and shareholdings in the Company or in any other relevant stakeholders between and at Board and Committee meetings, as appropriate.

Principle 2:

The governing body should govern the ethics of the organization in a way that supports the establishment of an ethical culture.

Sabcap is committed to achieving the highest standards of ethical behavior in compliance with its code of ethical conduct. The Board, through the Social and Ethics Committee, has approved a code of ethical conduct which is published on its website and communicated to its employees. It maintains a high awareness of the South African Constitution and Bill of Rights. It also endeavours to ensure that the highest ethical behavior is followed by its investee companies.

The CEO is the custodian of the charter and is assisted by the group's CFO in his function as ethics officer. The Board reviews the charter annually.

Sabcap maintains a tip off hotline through its Audit Committee Chairman for anonymous or identified calls or contacts. Any reports are investigated by the Audit Committee Chairman using external legal and other resources if required. No incidents were reported during the year.

The setting of specific measurable metrics is not practical as Sabcap is an investment group with a small staff complement.

Adherence to the ethics charter is monitored by the Social and Ethics Committee and no deviations were recorded during the year. Future focus will continue to be maintained on all core values.

Principle 3:

The governing body should ensure that the organisation is and is seen to be a responsible corporate citizen

The Company itself and most of its investee companies have SRI programmes to facilitate its role as a responsible corporate citizen.

Sabcap invests between 0,5% and I% of its own expected sustainable profit after tax directly (and indirectly through SA Bias Industries) in specific programmes encompassing bursaries for education, the funding of educational infrastructure and specific related projects. During 2021 eighteen school bursaries were funded and general and specific grants were made for education related initiatives. Donations were also made to the University of Cape Town, Shadow Careers, The Soul Provider Trust, the Masimong Foundation, the Paul Mthimunye Bursary Fund and Oliver's House Education Centre.

Since the commencement of the Sabcap programme, 234 years of schooling have been funded.

Sabcap also encourages its investee companies to maintain and adhere to comprehensive sustainability policies as appropriate.

Principle 4:

The governing body should appreciate that the organisation’s core purpose, its risks and opportunities, strategy, business model, performance and sustainable development are all inseparable elements of the value creation process.

The Board has set out its strategy and associated risks in this integrated report and articulated its core values in alignment with its ethics charter. In directing strategy and pursuing investment opportunities, the Board considers the risks and opportunities in the environment in which the Group operates to create value for all stakeholders. The Board sets key performance criteria and targets for management to assess the implementation of Group strategy.

The Audit and Risk Committee assists the Board with governance and risks and both the Committee and the Board assess the viability of the company relative to capital, solvency and liquidity on an ongoing basis.

In addition to the annual budget being considered and approved by the Board, the Board monitors the company's three year rolling financial plan and execution of its strategy.

Principle 5:

The governing body should ensure that reports issued by the organisation enable stakeholders to make informed assessments of the organisation’s performance and its short, medium and long term prospects.

Based on the recommendations of the Audit and Risk Committee, the Board approves the Integrated Report, the annual financial statements, the King IV™ compliance report and all other reports published by the Company in its integrated annual report, all of which are also available on Sabcap's website.

The Board considers Sabcap's business model and envisaged strategy and the interests of its key stakeholders in all its deliberations.

The Board also directs the Company to issue regular updates on its investment activities to shareholders through SENS announcements at and between scheduled reporting dates.

Principle 6:

The governing body should serve as the focal point and custodian of corporate governance in the organisation

The Board is the focal point of Sabcap's corporate governance framework. Sabcap follows a stakeholder inclusive approach to governance with the Board being ultimately responsible and accountable to stakeholders for the performance, activities and control of the Group.

This is achieved through the direction provided by the application of the Board Charter, Memorandum of Incorporation ("MOI"), the Board members' letters of appointment, its application of the King Code of Corporate Governance and relevant legislation. The Board confirms that it complies with the provisions of the Companies Act 2008 and is operating in terms of the laws relating to its incorporation and in conformity with its MOI. The Board's sub-committees play an integral role in ensuring corporate governance is achieved through the terms and mandates in their respective charters.

The Board Charter authorises Board members to obtain independent external professional advice, to have direct access to the executives, employees and company secretary for information and to meet without the executive directors, or with management, or with advisors when deemed appropriate or necessary. The Company bears the relevant expenses.

Principle 7:

The governing body should comprise the appropriate balance of knowledge, skills, experience, diversity and independence for it to discharge its governance role and responsibilities objectively and effectively

The Board and its Committees

Sabcap employs nine people of whom three are executive directors of the holding company. It also has the benefit of the experience and advice of four independent non-executive directors on the holding company board. The continued independence of directors is assessed annually, with particular attention to those who have served on the Board for longer than nine years. The Board is satisfied that the four directors regarded as independent continue to exert this status vigorously.

The roles of Chairman and CEO are separate. The Chairman is not a member of the Audit and Risk committee and is a member but not the chairman of the Remuneration Committee. The Chairman's non-executive role encompasses being the mentor and counsel to the CEO, the co-ordination of governance activities, the overseer of Board and committee performance and the guide to the Board in its principal functions of the keepers of strategy, the monitors of risk, the custodians of management excellence and the overseers of Company performance. A separate lead director has been appointed who is non-executive and independent.

The directors consider the mix of technical, entrepreneurial, financial and business skills of the directors to be balanced, thus ensuring the effectiveness of the Board. Board composition and the process of nominating directors to the Board is the function of the Nominations Committee. None of the directors has political connections of relevance to the Company or at all. The Board retains full and effective control over the Company and its subsidiaries and monitors the performance and decisions of executive management.

The Board believes that the optimal number of directors for Sabcap is 7 - 8 of which 4 - 5 should be non­executive directors and a majority of those should be independent.

It is the Board’s policy to promote diversity within its non-executive directors as follows:

A minimum of two female directors.

A minimum of two black directors.

Directors with a culture that supports the ethics of the organisation and its social responsibility initiatives.

A spread of ages.

Field of knowledge
Skills and experience should include finance, investments, accounting, legal, JSE and general business experience.

In addition, the Company is represented on the Boards of all of its unlisted investees and certain of the directors are directors of most of its major listed investee companies. The Board fully respects the fiduciary duties of these directors to the respective companies and is cognisant of stock exchange rules and insider trading policies for those companies that are listed.

No external advisors are regular attendees at Board meetings.

Directors are subject to election by shareholders at the first opportunity following their appointment. Directors retire by rotation and stand for re-election by shareholders at least once every three years. In accordance with the Company's MOI, the Board also has the ability to remove directors without requiring shareholder approval.

The executive directors have six months’ notice periods but no other contractual entitlements.

The Board meets at least twice annually. Additional meetings are held when non-scheduled matters arise. In addition, the Company has an effective Board memoranda process to facilitate consultation with all directors on an ongoing basis and management reports are circulated to the Board monthly as well. Additional scheduled meetings are not regarded as necessary due to this process and the limited movement in portfolio holdings.

The full responsibilities of the Board and of each Committee are set out in written charters adopted by the Board and published on the Company's website. There is clear balance of power and authority at the Board level to ensure that no one director has unfettered powers of decision-making.

Directors participate at meetings in person or by audio conference. During the year directors’ attendance at the Board meetings held, was as follows:

O Ighodaro 2/2
K Pillay 2/2
R Pleaner 2/2
L Mthimunye 2/2
L Rood 2/2
CS Seabrooke 2/2
BJT Shongwe 2/2

The profiles of directors are set out on page 20, shareholders on page 93 and remuneration details in note 16 on page 83.

Company Secretary

The role of the Company Secretary is outsourced to Levitt Kirson Business Services (Pty) Limited, which meets the requirements of the Companies Act and the JSE.

The duties of the company secretary include:

  • Providing counsel and guidance to the Board on their individual and collective powers and duties as required from time to time;
  • Considering the regulatory universe prepared by internal audit and providing the Board with updates and proposed changes to laws and regulations affecting the Group;
  • Reporting to the Board any non-compliance with the MOI or Companies Act;
  • Maintaining proper minutes of shareholder, director and committee meetings;
  • Certifying in the annual financial statements that the Company has filed the required notice and returns timeously in accordance with the Companies Act;
  • Ensuring that the Company's annual financial statements are properly distributed;
  • Carrying out the other functions required of a company secretary by the Companies Act.

The Board has considered and satisfied itself of the competence, qualifications and experience of the Company Secretary. More particularly, the Board is satisfied that the required duties have been carried out effectively.

The Board confirms that the Company Secretary has maintained an arms' length relationship with the Board, is not a director of the Company and performs no other functions on behalf of the Company or the Board.

Audit, Governance and Risk Committee

The Committee operates within defined terms of reference and authority granted to it by the Board in terms of a written charter. It meets at least twice a year, and the external auditors, Deloitte & Touche, and CFO attend as well. The Chief Executive may also attend by invitation from time to time. The external auditors have unrestricted access to the Committee.

Selected scope internal audit services are performed for the Group by KPMG for assurance purposes. KPMG reports to the Chairman of the Committee and administratively to the CEO. The relationship is sound and no disagreements were recorded during the year.

The internal auditors attend when presenting their reports and opinions. The internal auditors follow a plan performed over a three year cycle, focusing on areas identified and prioritised based on those areas viewed as higher risk and where there is an aim to improve internal controls in a specific area. The plan is flexible to accommodate changing circumstances or risk profiles. Their reports provided unqualified assurances to the Audit Committee and Board.

There are no other regular invitees to Committee meetings.

The principle functions of the Committee are to review the interim and annual financial statements and accounting policies, monitor the effects of internal controls, assess the risks facing the business, assess the expertise and experience of the CFO, discuss the findings and recommendations of the auditors and review corporate governance procedures. The Audit Committee also has the responsibility for recommending the appointment of the external auditors and for ensuring that there is appropriate independence relating to non-audit services provided by the auditors. These non-audit services are presently taxation, corporate finance, technical accounting, risk and human resources.

The Committee regards the CFO and Deputy CFO as suitably qualified and experienced and the finance function to be operating effectively.

Due to the size of the Group, a separate risk committee is not regarded as necessary. The Audit Committee monitors the risk registers, risk control procedures and authorities framework of the Group.

The Committee regards the process resulting in the presentation of the Integrated Report to be satisfactory and that the level of combined assurance is appropriate relative to the scale of the Group and its identified risks and mitigating controls.

It regards the relationship between the external assurance providers and the Company as sound and conducive to optimising the level and quality of assurance and no separate external assurance is necessary on sustainability issues due to the limited size and focus of Sabcap's operations as an investment group. The Committee does not regard the Company as having any current unmitigated risks arising from sustainability considerations. The Committee is of the view that it complied with all its legal, regulatory and governance responsibilities during the period.

The committee comprises the following members:

L Mthimunye (Independent Non-executive Chairman) 3/3
O Ighodaro (Independent Non-executive) 3/3
B J T Shongwe (Independent Non-executive) 3/3

Remuneration and Nominations Committees

The Remuneration and Nominations Committees operate within defined terms of reference and meet annually.

The Remuneration Committee determines executive remuneration and incentives, reviews staff costs and recommends non-executive directors’ fees to shareholders. It conducts appropriate market reviews periodically relative to these assessments.

The Nominations Committee considers the composition and performance of the Board and its Committees and makes recommendations on new appointments.

Succession planning

The Nominations Committee is responsible for formulating and monitoring the succession plans of the Board, the CEO and CFO. The Committee reviews the succession plan annually.

The Remuneration Committee comprises the following members:

BJT Shongwe (Independent Non-Executive Chairman) 1/1
O Ighodaro (Independent Non-Executive ) 1/1
K Pillay (Independent Non-Executive) 1/1
L Mthimunye-Bakoro (Independent Non-Executive) 1/1

The Nominations Committee comprises the following members:

K Pillay (Independent Non-Executive Chairman) 1/1
L Mthimunye 1/1
O Ighodaro (Independent Non-Executive) 1/1
B J T Shongwe (Independent Non-executive) 1/1

Social, Ethics and Transformation Committee

The Committee has a written charter which meets all the requirements of the Companies Act in the scope of its functions. These included the Group's standing relative to the ten United Nations Global Compact Principles, the OECD recommendations regarding corruption, the Employment Equity Act and the BBBEE Act, good corporate citizenship including the Group's SRI programme, environmental and safety issues and labour relations. The Committee is satisfied that Sabcap has properly considered these issues and taken the appropriate measures to the extent applicable to the Group's activities.

The committee comprises the following members:

O Ighodaro (Independent Non-Executive Chairman) 1/1
CS Seabrooke (CEO) 1/1
L Mthimunye-Bakoro (Independent Non-Executive) 1/1
K Pillay (Independent Non-Executive) 1/1
B J T Shongwe (Independent Non-executive) 1/1

The report of the Committee to shareholders as required by the Companies Act is set out on page 48.

Performance Assessments

The performances of the Board, the Committees, directors, Chairman, CEO, CFO and Company Secretary are subject to a 360° review annually. Appropriate feedback is given and discussions held by the Chairman, Committee Chairpersons or CEO, as appropriate. No material issues arose from this process in 2021.

Investment Committee

The Investment Committee is an ad hoc committee activated as needed from time to time by the Board or by management. The Committee comprises at least two non-executive directors and one executive director and an external expert by invitation, if deemed necessary.

The Investment Committee has been activated during the current year.

Principle 8:

The governing body should ensure that its arrangements far delegation within its own structures promote independent judgment and assist with balance ef power and the effective discharge ef its duti£s

The Board has established a formal authorities matrix which delegates financial and strategic responsibilities to the executive directors for operational and investment purposes, requiring notifications to the Board below the stated limits and authority from the Board above the stated limits.

The governance functions of the Board Committees are outlined in their respective approved Committee terms of reference. The charters are reviewed and approved annually by the Board and the composition of the Committees is also assessed annually. Three independent non-executive directors are members of the Audit and Risk, and four are members of the Nominations, Remuneration and Social and Ethics Committees. There is a balanced distribution of power between the independent non-executive directors as each of the Audit and Risk, Nominations and Remuneration Committees are chaired by a different director. The Audit Committee chairman also chairs the Social and Ethics Committee to facilitate the monitoring of ethics and risks.

The board committees at the date of this report are as follows:

  Nominations Remuneration Audit, Risk & Compliance Social and Ethics Investment
Chairperson K Pillay BJT Shongwe L Mthimunye L Mthimunye K Pillay
Members BJT Shongwe
L Mthimunye
O Ighodaro
L Mthimunye
K Pillay
O Ighodaro
BJT Shongwe
O Ighodaro
O Ighodaro
K Pillay
BJT Shongwe
CS Seabrooke
BJT Shongwe
L Mthimunye
O Ighodaro
CS Seabrooke
Functions managed • Directors
• People
• Succession
• People
• Remuneration
• Retention
• Accounting, tax and
• Information and technology
• Internal audit
• Risk
• Credit
• Transformation
• Sustainability
• Ethics
•Investment policy and paramaters
• Current investments
• New investments
Number of meetings per year At least one At least one At least two At least one Ad hoc as required or by round robin
Composition Independent non-executive
Independent non-executive
Independent non-executive
A majority of independent
non-executive directors
The CEO and all
independent directors

Principle 9:

The governing body should ensure that the evaluation ef its own peifimnance and that ef its committees, its chair and its individual members, support continued improvement in its performance and effectiveness.

Formal performance evaluations of the Board, its Committees, the Company Secretary, the CFO and finance function are conducted annually by means of questionnaires to review the mix of skills, performance during the year, contribution of independent individual directors, and the effectiveness of Committees. Results of the evaluations are considered to determine any improvements or changes required for the following year.

The evaluations are considered by the Nominations Committee which makes recommendations to the Board as appropriate.

Based on the annual evaluations undertaken during November 2021, the board is satisfied that:

  • All directors are committed to their roles and are performing to acceptable standards.
  • The board and its committees are effective and operating to appropriate standards.
  • The group’s risk management framework and processes are effective.
  • All directors and committee members have appropriate qualifications, experience and skills to fulfil the board and committee mandates.
  • Independent non-executive directors meet the criteria for independence in terms of King IVTM including the directors who have served for longer than nine years.
  • The expertise, performance and experience of the Chairman, CEO, CFO, Company Secretary and outsourced internal audit function are acceptable (refer also to principle 7).

Principle 10:

The governing body should ensure that the appointment ef and delegation to management contributes to role clarity and effective exercise ef authority and responsibilities

There is a formal delegation of authority matrix in place which is reviewed and updated by the Board annually and which sets the direction and parameters and limits which are reserved for the Board and those that are delegated to the executive directors, including financial materiality thresholds.

The Board appoints the CEO who leads the implementation and execution of strategy and policy approved by the Board. The CEO is accountable to the Board which assesses his performance annually.

The Board approves the appointment of the Company Secretary. The function is currently outsourced and the scope of the Company Secretary duties, responsibilities and support functions to the Board are set out in principle 7.

Access to the Company Secretary and relevant independent advice is available to all Board members when required.

Principle 11:

The governing body should govern risk in a way that supports the organisation in setting and achieving its executive objectives.

Full details are contained in the risk report on pages 32 and 33.

Principle 12:

The governing body should govern technology and iriformation in a wqy that supports the organisation setting and achieving its strategic oljectives.

The Board through the Audit and Risk Committee is accountable for governance of information technology. As a small investment group, Sabcap does not require a separate IT charter and policies and similarly no IT Steering Committee is required. The Board and Audit and Risk Committee monitor the effectiveness of the internal controls over the IT environment, which is currently adequate for the company's strategic plans and business model.

The design and maintenance of the Group's IT platform has been managed effectively by an outside contractor, Enterprise Outsourcing, for over twenty years.

The effectiveness of the Group's IT systems was favourably assessed by KPMG in the course of the internal audit services provided to the Group in the prior year and by Deloitte & Touche in the course of its audit. KPMG has also reported to the CFO and the Audit and Risk Committee in the prior year that the Group's disaster recovery and business continuity plans are acceptable.

The CFO has the role of Chief Information Officer, has responsibility for the management of IT and reports on IT matters to the Audit and Risk Committee and the Board.

Sabcap ensures that the integrity of the IT process is maintained, including information security privacy and IT laws, including POPI, that are applicable to Sabcap.

Principle 13:

The governing body should govern compliance with applicable laws and adopted standards in a wqy that supports the organisation being ethical/y and a good corporate citizen

The Audit and Risk Committee takes responsibility for compliance oversight on behalf of the Board. The CFO has the role of Chief Compliance Officer and ensures that the investment and related activities of Sabcap are managed ethically, in compliance with legislative requirements and in line with best practice governance guidelines. He is assisted by KPMG in monitoring and updating Sabcap's regulatory universe and assurance is also received from Deloitte & Touche in the course of their audit relating to compliance with applicable legislation and regulations. During the year the Compliance Officer did not note any breaches in regulatory compliance.

The Board does not believe it is necessary for Sabcap as an investment company to adopt formal dispute resolution processes. External disputes are handled through the Group's attorneys and there have been no internal disputes requiring resolution.

The primary regulatory universe applicable to Sabcap includes (but is not limited to):

  • Companies Act.
  • Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
  • JSE Listings Requirements including King IVTM.
  • Labour Relations Act.
  • Protection of Personal Information Act.
  • Electronic Communications and Transactions Act.
  • Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act.
  • Employment Equity Act.
  • Financial Markets Act.
  • Tax Administration Act.
  • Income Tax Act.
  • Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.
  • National Environmental Act.
  • Unemployment Insurance Act.
  • Exchange Control Regulations.

Principle 14:

The governing body should ensure that the organisation remuneral,es fairly, responsibly and transparently so as to promote the achievement qf strategi,c objecti:oes and positive outcomes in the short, medium and long-term.

The Remuneration Committee is responsible for establishing and overseeing a remuneration policy that promotes the achievement of strategic objectives and encourages individual performance in Sabcap and recruit, retain and motivate the necessary skilled personnel to facilitate the achievement of the Company's strategic objectives in the long-term and short- and medium-term operational requirements to meet those objectives.

The Company’s remuneration report is presented in three sections:

  • A background statement.
  • An overview of Sabvest’s remuneration philosophy and policy.
  • An implementation report of Sabvest’s remuneration policy during the period.

The remuneration policy and the implementation report are tabled at annual general meetings for two separate non-binding advisory votes. If either the remuneration policy or the implementation report, or both, are voted against by shareholders exercising 25% or more of the votes exercised, the Board will invite dissenting shareholders to engage with the Remuneration Committee on their concerns.

In addition, shareholder approval is obtained annually at the annual general meeting for the fees payable to non­executive directors.

Principle 15:

The governing botfy should ensure that assurance services and junctions enable an effective control environment and that these support the integrity ef iriformation for internal decision-making and ef the organisation's external reports

The Audit and Risk Committee is responsible for monitoring the appropriateness of the combined assurance model to monitor and mitigate the risks in the Group and ensuring its effectiveness in order to place continued reliance thereon. The Committee oversees the internal audit services provided to the Group by KPMG and the external audit function undertaken by Deloitte & Touche. The Committee is satisfied that the external auditor remains independent and that the policy in place to address the provision of non-audit services by the external auditor is appropriate.

The Committee considers the financial reporting procedures that are in place and whether these procedures are operating effectively. It also monitors and ensures the integrity of information and external reports. These are also reviewed by Sabcap's external auditors, attorneys,JSE Sponsor and bank advisors, as appropriate or needed.

Principle 16:

In the execution ef its governance role and responsibilities, the governing botfy should adopt a shareholder inclusive approach that balances the needs, interests and expectations ef material stakeholders in the best interests ef the organisation over time.

The Board has responsibility for directing how the relationships with stakeholders in the Group should be conducted. As an investment holding company, Sabcap has one policy approach as a single entity and ensures that this framework is in harmony with other applicable requirements and constraints, for example the Memorandum of Incorporation, authorities framework, investee shareholder agreements, Board and Committee charters and regulatory requirements.

Sabcap's external relationships with stakeholders are primarily with its shareholders, financiers, the Boards of its listed and unlisted investee companies and their Committees. These relationships are actively managed by the executive directors as follows:

  • Shareholders
    Through the website, SENS and press announcements, annual reports and general meetings.
  • Financiers Through regular meetings and submissions.
  • Unlisted Investees
    Through shareholder agreements, board and committee representation and on-site visits.
  • Major Listed Investees
    Through board and committee representation, on-site visits and liaison with other material shareholders.
  • Community
    Through the group’s code of ethics and SRI programme.

If meetings are held with shareholders or analysts, it is Company policy that they should be attended by at least two Company representatives and notes be made of the meetings.

A stakeholder engagement report will be made annually to the Board. With regard to the annual general meeting, all directors are expected to attend and be available to deal with shareholder queries, and the designated partner of Deloitte & Touche is also present. The minutes of prior annual general meetings are tabled for information and queries.

The results of the annual general meeting, including percentage votes for each resolution, are announced at the annual general meeting and released on SENS.