ABSTRACT

CORPORATE DISCLOSURES of information regarding the natural environment are undertaken largely on a voluntary basis in South Africa, 1 as in most other countries. There has been an increase over time in this type of disclosure by corporations. However, the pressures on South African corporations in this regard may be different from those experienced by their counterparts in developed countries. This fact can perhaps best be illustrated by way of a quotation from the environmental report of South Africa's only electricity utility, Eskom. Eskom employs approximately 39,000 staff and has featured prominently in the wwf (sa) (World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa) Environmental Annual Report Award, being placed third for their 1996 report. In the 1997 report (Eskom 1998: 1), the chairman, Reuel Khoza, states that:

Social pressures for economic growth are real and pressing. Short-term solutions are necessary, but must not contribute to the long-term deterioration of the environment to the point where quality of life can no longer be sustained. Success is finding the desired equilibrium between these opposing requirements.

378The challenge remains: how to raise awareness of broader environmental issues at grass-roots level and at the same time achieve better living standards for the poorer communities.