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King IV: Bolder Than Ever

The King Committee published the King IV Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa 2016 (King IV) on 1 November 2016. King IV is effective in respect of financial years commencing on or after 1 April 2017. King IV replaces King III in its entirety.

We believe the new code represents a positive step forward, in that it is principles-based and outcomes-based, and it takes the challenges and realities of today’s business world into account. Here, we break down exactly what is different and what is new, and explain how companies are expected to apply these changes.

Key take-outs:

  • While King III called on companies to apply or explain, King IV assumes application of all principles, and requires entities to explain how the principles are applied – thus, apply and explain
  • King IV is principle- and outcomes-based rather than rules-based
  • Corporate governance should be concerned with ethical leadership, attitude, mindset and behaviour
  • The focus is on transparency and targeted, well-considered disclosures
  • Remuneration receives far greater prominence, in line with international developments
  • King IV recognises information in isolation of technology as a corporate asset that is part of the company’s stock of intellectual capital and confirms the need for governance structures to protect and enhance this asset
  • There is a new emphasis on the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders

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