For information regarding COVID-19 in South Africa, please visit

The Profession's Role PDF Print E-mail

Corporate governance in South Africa
The King IV™ report contains principles and recommended best practices to ensure that an organisation exists and operates as a good corporate citizen. Company law requires the board to act in the best interests of the organisation at all times, and requires all directors to act with the necessary skill, care and diligence. King IV™ promotes good corporate governance in South Africa, as does the law. It can be said with certainty that good governance and the law go hand-in-hand. Courts are required to develop the common law, and in this way are likely to take into account the recommended practices contained in King IV™. As courts rely on the provisions of King IV™ in their judgements, so the principles in King IV™ become codified in our common law. The responsibilities of directors are emphasised in King IV™, with the focal point being on the governing body of an entity. An environment of effective and ethical leadership is promoted in King IV™. Principles associated with ethical leadership include integrity; competence; responsibility; accountability; fairness and transparency.

The professional’s role
Professionals charged with ensuring good governance practices within an organisation, play an important role in enforcing and promoting high standards of ethical behaviour, integrity and compliance. In particular, the person has a significant impact on the level and quality of the organisation's corporate governance and governance culture and often has a pivotal role in assisting the board to achieve the entity's vision and strategy. The activities of the governance professional encompass legal and regulatory duties and obligations and additional responsibilities assigned by the employer. These professionals are highly skilled and respected professionals who perform their administrative roles at an executive level. They are the primary source of advice on governance to their board. They are senior professionals trained in law, finance, governance, risk and strategy.

The professional’s title
The professional can hold different titles, depending on the organisation’s requirements. You may be called company secretary, risk manager, compliance officer, legal counsel, financial manager or governance adviser. The title will vary depending on the circumstances of each entity. CGISA caters to all types of governance professionals with the choice of two chartered routes namely:

  • Chartered Secretary – for company secretaries
  • Chartered Governance Professional – for other governance professionals

Both of these chartered designations enable professionals to serve as governance professionals within an organisation, irrespective of their specific title. A "chartered" designation is used to indicate professional competence. This status is awarded to individuals who are skilled or qualified in a particular field of work.