This thesis on Natural capital accounting done by Avir Bhaidas was one of our best theses in 2016

Natural capital and externality accounting within large South African organisations

By: Bhaidas, Avir

Abstract:

In a world with finite natural resources, the prevalence of economic models which exclude environmental impacts signals a non-sustainable business context. A paradigm shift is required to ensure that sustainable economic growth is achieved without further environmental degradation. The research investigated the organisations’ thinking surrounding aspects of natural capital, which include their interpretation, reporting and the range of valuation methods being utilised. In addition perspectives on deemed barriers and enablers to achieve natural capital accounting in South Africa have been explored with the intent to reduce potential market failures or opportunity costs incurred by society. Through semi-structured interviews with 15 experts, nine Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed organisations across four industries, namely mining, banking, food retail and brewing, the study qualitatively explored the level of sophistication of natural capital accounting in South Africa and presents an enablement model for natural capital accounting. The results indicate that the influence of conventional economic paradigms, coupled with lack of knowledge flows and institutional voids has marginalised natural capital, creating an unquantified social cost. While institutional voids exist, there remains an opportunity for business and stakeholders to align and manage natural capital more pragmatically and create truly sustainable businesses.

One of our top MBA theses on CEO renumeration (UP Space)

Effects of race on CEO pay-performance sensitivities

By Sean Barrett

Source: http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/43964 November 10, 2015

Abstract: 

Orientation: The available literature has revealed a polarised picture regarding the effects of race on CEO remuneration. This division centres on whether race is a beneficial factor or not with regard to the level and sensitivity of remuneration received. Introducing South Africa’s affirmative labour policies and the growing societal calls to better explain executive remuneration creates the unique opportunity to examine the effects of race on CEO pay.

Research purpose: The purpose of the research centred on two important themes. Firstly the research sought to investigate the effects of race on the sensitivity of executive pay to corporate performance. Secondly the effects of race on the level and structure of executive pay was probed.

Motivation for the study: The primary motivation of the study centred on determining whether race is has an affect, if any, on the remuneration paid to CEOs in South Africa. This will assist in understanding whether the affirmative polices implemented in South Africa have made any impact in the top level of executive remuneration.

Research design: The study was designed to be quantitative, descriptive and longitudinal in nature utilising valid secondary data sources. The BFA Macgregor online financial database was selected as the most appropriate source of both corporate performance information and directors’ remuneration. Nineteen black CEOs were identified along with a random sample of 45 white CEOs. Following the data been analysed for reliability and validity it was then subject to primary and secondary statistical tests to determine significance and correlation strength. Main findings/results: All components of South African CEO remuneration studied were found to strongly correlate to PAT and EBITDA and to a lesser degree ROE and HEPS. ROE and HEPS have shown correlation strength growth in recent years. This collection of measures reflects a balanced basket of accounting-­‐based and non-­‐ accounting based measures. Black and white CEO mean remuneration when compared was found to have no significant difference due to race. A notable difference found was the higher degree of pay-­‐performance sensitivity and variability seen within the black CEO sample. Practical/Managerial implications: King III compels boards and remuneration committees to ensure remuneration of directors is fair and reasonable, sensitive to performance and aligned with the strategy of the organisation. Ensuring realistic pay-­‐ performance sensitivities are not just a corporate governance requirement but also help alleviate principle-­‐agent issues while correctly incentivising the CEO. Boards looking to appoint black or minority CEOs should continue to remunerate in a equitable and fair manner and be aware of such mental biases such as the “inverse Matthew effect” and other social out-­‐group biases especially when evaluating performance. Contribution: The study showed that race doesn’t affect the level of CEO remuneration but does impact on the pay-­‐performance sensitivity and the variability. The difference in sensitivity and variability could indicate the presence of mental biases such as the “inverse Matthew effect” and other social out-­‐group biases when evaluating performance.

One of our top MBA theses on advertising

Optimal media schedules in emerging markets: A South African perspective establishing the inherent characteristics that influence return on investment for advertising spend.

By Amy Beck

Source: http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/43983  November 2014

ABSTRACT:

The effect of advertising efforts on sales is of significant interest for global brands. Recent developments in emerging markets such as South Africa have brought the concept of consumer purchase behaviour in generating sales, under review. New media schedules are required to transition emerging market consumers to purchase products/services through effective marketing media platforms and through consumer brand equity whilst including price sensitivities into the media-mix. This study adds to the current literature by investigating which variables have the most significant influence in promoting and generating sales in emerging markets through the use of various advertising efforts. The primary focus was to establish an optimal marketing media schedule from which advertisers are able to choose a particular marketing media schedule to maximise their respective firms’ sales. This study investigated marketing media platforms, brand perceptions and price sensitivities. These included the influence of internet, television, radio, press and outdoor media platforms, price sensitivities and consumer brand equity in promoting sales within emerging markets. Data to support the relevant influences was gathered through secondary data from Nielsen Holdings N.V. (an American global information and measurement company) and the South African Research Audience Foundation (SAARF). Six washing detergent brands were selected for the study, where a complete data set could be sourced. The most influential variables in determining sales generation was consumer brand equity followed by price sensitivity. This allowed the derivation of a model extension from models identified in previous literature with the derived model including such influential variables by which brands could determine the most favourable marketing mix schedule and thereby allocate budgetary resources where necessary.

SKA communities enter digital age

The communities around the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) are set to enter the information age with a R2,5-million boost that will equip schools and a community centre with IT hardware, software and …

GIBS Information Centre / GIBSIC‘s insight:

ICT, community outreach, SAn –  “Intel South Africa has launched several community projects in the tiny Karoo town of Carnarvon. The IT vendor is working with the SKA and the Department of Science and Technology to supply computers, educational  materials, teacher training and internet access to the Carnarvon community centre and five schools in the three towns closest to the main SKA site – Carnarvon, Williston and Van Wyksvlei.”

See on www.it-online.co.za

ICT policy Green Paper to be gazetted in December

A Green Paper for South Africa’s national integrated information and communications technology (ICT) policy would be gazetted for public comment in early December, Communications Minister Yunus Carrim told the Parliamentary Portfolio…

GIBS Information Centre / GIBSIC‘s insight:

ICT  Green paper  –

See on www.engineeringnews.co.za

Fracking Debate Heats Up In South Africa – AFKInsider

Estimated to have the world’s eighth-largest shale reserves, South Africa’s semi-desert Karoo wilderness has long aroused emotions for its beauty.

GIBS Information Centre / GIBSIC‘s insight:

Estimates – “With nearly two-thirds the shale deposits estimated in the U.S., the Karoo could soon become a stomping ground for scientists and geologists mapping out shale gas fields that have been touted as game-changers for Africa’s biggest economy, and deciding whether fracking will work here. That is if energy companies and the African National Congress get their way, according to a Reuters report in BusinessDayLive.

A Shell-commissioned study by Cape Town-based consultancy Econometrix suggests extracting 50-trillion cubic feet, or 12.8 percent of potential reserves, would add nearly $20 billion, or 0.5 percent of gross domestic product, to South Africa’s economy every year for 25 years and create 700,000 jobs, BusinessDayLive reported.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves digging wells up to 4 kilometers deep, then pumping in large amounts of water mixed with chemicals under high pressure to crack the shale rock and release the gas.   –   With the Kalahari Desert lying just to its north, the Karoo has very little water. Oil companies face a well-organised grassroots lobby opposed to anything that could upset its fragile environment.

South Africa’s richest man, Cartier billionaire Johann Rupert, promises to take a legal fight to the highest court if the government rushes into granting exploration licences. Rupert is worth an estimated $6.5 billion.  –  pro-fracking activists say a lengthy legal fight is inevitable.  –  “After the licence has been granted, there is going to be legal battle after legal battle after legal battle,” said Karoo Shale Gas Community Forum Chairman Vuyisile Booysen.

The first formal interest in shale gas in the Karoo began in 2008, with an application for exploration rights — still ungranted — by Bundu Oil & Gas, a subsidiary of Australia’s Challenger Energy.”

See on afkinsider.com

Nigeria Seeks Japan’s Support for Power, Infrastructure Development – AllAfrica.com

Curated by GIBS IC staffer Magdel Naude / See also on Scoop.itCentre for Business Analysis & Research – CBAR

Nigeria Seeks Japan’s Support for Power, Infrastructure Development  –   AllAfrica.com

“For African countries, including Nigeria, to achieve a sustainable growth, it is imperative that agriculture be developed across the value chain.

GIBS Information Centre / GIBSIC‘s insight:

Nigeria – Japan,  infrastructure development

See on allafrica.com