Durban - South African companies doing business on the African continent should always ensure they are exemplary citizens, the deputy minister of trade and industry (DTI) said on Thursday.
Nomalungelo Gina made the remarks at the South Africa-Mozambique Business Seminar hosted by the DTI in Maputo, Mozambique.
The seminar formed part of the second leg of the week-long Outward Trade and investment Mission to Mozambique that started in Pemba on Monday and will conclude in Maputo on Friday.
“As part of our efforts to facilitate intra-Africa trade and investment, we brought about 50 companies for this mission to enable them to exchange ideas and information with their Mozambican counterparts on opportunities for partnerships and joint ventures that will contribute in growing both economies.
"But to ensure exemplary conduct by SA companies whenever they operate outside the borders of our country, including Mozambique, the DTI has developed the guidelines for good business practice by the South African companies operating in the rest of the continent,” said Gina.
The guidelines provide a set of voluntary principles and standards aimed at promoting responsible business conduct.
"In addition, the principles provide a framework for SA companies, as active members of the continental business community, to promote sustainable economic development in accordance with the socio-economic developmental imperatives of the host countries," said Gina.
To date, more than 60 South African companies have signed a pledge to uphold the guidelines.
Gina said the DTI encouraged local companies and state-owned entities to "seriously consider" integrating the guidelines in their value propositions and to actively promote them.
The deputy minister also held a bilateral meeting with Mozambican minister of trade and commerce, Ragendra Berta de Sousa. Gina said they discussed a variety of issues pertaining to promoting trade and investment between the countries as part of the implementation of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed in Cape Town in February.
The MoU provides a framework under which developmental projects can be pursued in various sectors, including agriculture and agro-processing, special economic zones and industrial parks, mining, processing and value-addition of natural resources; transport and communications infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, tourism, clothing and textiles, creative industries, and manufacturing.