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Sustainability reporting and assurance: An analysis of assurance practices in South Africa

Ben Marx (Department of Accountancy, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Vanessa van Dyk (Department of Accountancy, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Meditari Accountancy Research

ISSN: 1022-2529

Article publication date: 1 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of sustainability reporting and the assurance thereof in South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of a literature review and a study of empirical evidence obtained through content analysis of the sustainability reports of companies listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange Socially Responsible Investment Index for 2009.

Findings

Although sustainability reporting and the independent assurance thereof are widely researched and advocated in the literature, only a limited number of companies obtained independent assurance on their sustainability reporting.

Originality/value

The paper supports the recommendations of King III (effective from 1 March 2010) that companies should provide integrated reporting in terms of both their finances and sustainability, and that the sustainability reporting and disclosure should be independently assured.

Keywords

Citation

Marx, B. and van Dyk, V. (2011), "Sustainability reporting and assurance: An analysis of assurance practices in South Africa", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 19 No. 1/2, pp. 39-55. https://doi.org/10.1108/10222521111178628

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited