The liquor industry has signed guidelines ensuring its members’ commitment to good business practices for South African companies operating in Africa.

The signing by key liquor industry role players Distell, Heineken, Diageo, Pernod Ricard, SALBA and Vinpro took place during a recent ceremony in Cape Town.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies told signatories that the guidelines aim to encourage companies to align their involvement and practices with the South African government’s integration and development objectives in the continent, and build mutual confidence, trust and benefit for the companies and societies in which they operate.

In line with South Africa’s and the continent’s developmental integration ambitions, the guidelines represent a proactive initiative by the government to promote responsible business conduct and good corporate
governance by the South African private sector in their business engagements in the continent, stated by Davies.

They are a voluntary set of principles and standards that seek to ensure that the operations of various South African businesses abroad are in compliance with the laws of the countries in which they operate, as well as aligned with and in support of government policies and the developmental approach to regional economic integration in the African continent.

The guidelines did not place additional bureaucratic or legal obligations on companies but ensured alignment is created between the government
and the private sector in their engagements with the continent, particularly in advancing Africa’s developmental agenda.

Industry Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education chairperson Rico Basson stated that signing the Guidelines for Good Business Practice binds the liquor industry to a set of principles and standards that will ensure business conducted across Africa will comply with the laws of the countries in which they operate.

Distell representative Wim Bierman said the way his company conducted its business in Africa was crucial and that it needed to ensure that it did the right thing.

Article By Raphael Wolf