SA business giants score rock bottom on employee human rights

Shoprite has resolved to end its anti-competition practice. | Picture: Courtesy Shoprite

Mr Price, Sasol and Shoprite performed poorly when it came to human rights due diligence. Mr Price scored 15.1%, Sasol 25.5% and Shoprite a dismal 3.6%.

Three major South African companies – Mr Price, Sasol and Shoprite – are alleged to be the worst-performing when it comes to human rights of their employees as they score some of the lowest points in the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB).

The 2019 CHRB assessed 200 of the largest-traded companies in the world on a set of human rights indicators, looking at four industries – agricultural products, apparel, extractives and electronic manufacturing.

Based on the United Nation’s Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, each company is assessed according to six themes, which each contain a number of indicators.

Companies are given a score based on points across governance and policy commitments, embedding respect and human rights in due diligence, remedy and grievance mechanisms, company human rights practices, response to serious allegations and transparency.

On a scale of one to 100, two-thirds of the companies scored 30 or less and a quarter scored 10 or less.

Mr Price, Sasol and Shoprite performed poorly when it came to human rights due diligence. Mr Price scored 15.1%, Sasol 25.5% and Shoprite a dismal 3.6%.

Mr Price is the only new South African company to be added to the CHRB last year.

Shoprite had a zero increase over the year before and Sasol gained by a marginal 0.5%.

But Anglo American, a South African company now primarily listed on the London Stock Exchange, scored an impressive 66.8%.

“Sasol is still studying the report and we therefore are unable to comment at this stage,” spokesperson Matebello Motloung said.

The Citizen was still awaiting comment from Mr Price and Shoprite at the time of going to press.

rorisangk@citizen.co.za

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