Corporate Social Responsibility in South Africa and Ghana: a Comparison of Successes, Failures and Futures in a “Developed” and an “Undeveloped” African Country

2641 words 11 pages
Corporate Social Responsibility in South Africa and Ghana: a comparison of successes, failures and futures in a “developed” and an “undeveloped” African country Few industries affect the social, economic and environmental sectors to the extent that the mining industry does. As minerals development expanded, so the international awareness of its impacts grew. Mining-related legislation, both internationally and nationally, has evolved significantly in the past two decades, actively aimed at ensuring Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), where companies are held accountable for their actions.In developing countries like South Africa and Ghana that are heavily dependent on gold trade and the associated international investment, the …show more content…

As in Ghana, SA’s dependence on the mining industry makes the government loathe to confront deviant companies for fear of disinvestment and job losses. Firms often run philanthropic programmes merely as an attempt to maintain “business as usual”, satisfying the bare minimum for CSR. The lack of government capacity is most prominent in environmental requirements. Many mining companies have introduced more stringent environmental management regulations and have increased CSR spending, but Fig (2005) shows that due to lack of governmental pressure and effective sustainable reporting, many of the claims of these companies do not match their actions. In recognition of its weaknesses, however, the SA government has adopted provision for voluntary conflict resolution within its environmental legislation (Fig, 2005). As an example of a developing country embracing CSR, SA has proven itself relatively forward-thinking and successful. SA is at the forefront of CSR legislation in Africa. It is in the inability to enforce these laws that the clearest CSR similarities, and failures, with Ghana, a less developed African nation, can be seen. CSR in Ghana For the past 1000 years Ghana has enjoyed a thriving gold trade. However, due to political turmoil and changing mining and economic policy, by the beginning of the 1980s the gold-mining industry was virtually stagnant, and became the focal point in the country’s Economic Recovery Programme in