Service: Transforming Corporate Governance

Transforming Corporate Governance

Transforming corporate governance at South African MNCs

South African multinational companies (MNCs) control trade on the continent through their own operations and those of their business partners organised in regional value chains. This concentration of power enables MNCs to fragment the workplace and weaken trade unions that attempt to influence corporate governance and defend decent work.

The LRS offers company information, financial literacy, and insights to support the bargaining strategies of unions negotiating with South African multinationals. We maintain the South African Multinational Corporations Database, a repository of financial, operational, and governance information for 91 South African MNCs operating in sub-Saharan Africa.

Research themes

1. Future of work

We are thinking about the future of work and have had a strong focus on the retail sector.

2. Climate change and just transition

We are building knowledge and competency and defining our role in relation to Just Transition and the trade union movement.

3. Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)

LRS partners with ITUC-Africa and other organisations to empower African trade unions in their engagement with the AfCFTA. We offer research, capacity building, and strategic support to inform union policies and advocacy to promote a decent work agenda and inclusive growth and development under the continental free trade area.

Trade Unions and Trade: A Guide to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement

4. Global value chains

Our work on value chains around the biggest retailers in Africa has influenced the way unions in 10 countries in Africa think about the workplace and the strategies they traditionally use to organise and bargain. There is a growing appreciation of more inclusive approaches that counter the fragmentation of the workplace in the value chain.

Trade unions organising and bargaining in value chains

5. Gig economy

We are mapping location-based gig work as a distinct form of employment relations.

Location-based platform work in South Africa: Mapping the prospects for organising

6. Ethical investing

LRS is involved in Active Shareholder, a not-for-profit company that helps socially responsible investors to exercise their company rights. That means voting the shares at the general meetings of listed companies. In this way, investors can express their views about the issues that concern them, whether it be corporate governance, executive remuneration, impact on the environment, or other matters. Know more.


Voices from the ground

"I know more about the inequality in value chains and how to counter it due to LRS value chains workshops for union officials in sub-Saharan Africa. My knowledge was enriched by hearing the experiences of comrades from different countries."
Philasande Mthethwa
Industrial Field Officer & Organiser, Swaziland Commercial Allied Workers Union

Key contact: 

Dr Salomé Teuteberg | [email protected]

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