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Building Trust and Accountability

The National Business Initiative (NBI) has embarked on an Ethical Leadership and Anti-Corruption Programme to facilitate dialogue on ethics and corruption in the private sector.


Capacity Building Programme

The National Business Initiative (NBI) has embarked on an Ethical Leadership and Anti-Corruption Programme to facilitate dialogue on ethics and corruption in the private sector. The project aims to develop rigorous and practically relevant insights on these issues. To this end, an intended outcome is an online training platform to support the private sector on ethical business conduct and anti-corruption practices.

The Ethical Leadership and Anti-Corruption Programme aims to address the organisational and behavioral aspects of driving ethics and anti-corruption. The Programme is built on the NBl’s foundational work in developing a new anti-corruption initiative in the private sector that would develop a set of new training materials appropriate to the challenging issues facing us as a country, and which would be combined with the development of a transparency framework and an advocacy thrust that would bring to the fore the need to address corruption at all levels in the South African private sector.

Programme Objectives

This Programme has been designed to gain a thorough understanding of what currently exists within the social systems in Corporate South Africa, in order to design the most impactful training platform that will accommodate a broader audience.


Develop a comprehensive, open-source online training platform that aims to interrogate the current and fast-growing culture of unethical behaviour and corrupt activities within the private and public sector.


Review and investigate the pressure points (triggers), and the complexities of corrupt behaviour within an organisation that is seen to be compliant but is still involved in unethical dilemmas.


Educational and awareness tool that assists in ethical decision making for organisations.


Accessible to the broader context of society including Government, Civil society and Business.

Building Trust and Accountability supports Responsible Business by highlighting that business cannot operate in isolation and equally cannot thrive in a failing society. This workstream understands the framing for business integrity and the key levers that facilitate building trust & accountability in corporate South Africa through 3 critical areas:

  1. Dialogue: We aim to deepen the dialogue on trust and ethics as a critical contribution to strengthening Business’ role in society.
  2. Thought Leadership: We have developed an online training course to strengthen ethical fitness to combat corruption.
  3. Capacity Building: We conduct in-depth research and analysis to gain a deeper understanding of how to strengthen governance.

Call to Action:

In order to change behaviour, corruption needs to be understood well and viewed from multiple perspectives. A broad understanding of corruption is fundamentally important because corruption is a systematic crime with various variables moving in different directions all time and at the same time. Thus, the solution to the problem must be well thought through and must be a cross sectoral approach to curb and tighten the loose ends that are dangerously crippling our society, staring our communities and failing our economy.

The Legislative Framework of any constitution will rightly address criminal elements of any wrongdoing or corrupt activities by organisation. What about the injustices against compliance or universal values? How does Business account for these? These are the complexities and nuances that give life to certain aspects and traits of social organisational behaviour in Corporate South Africa.

The reason why behind the Ethical Leadership and Anti – Corruption Capacity Building Programme is forging key relationships various industry experts to work collectively to embark on this journey, to understand and identify the triggers and the gaps that emerged in “seen to be compliant companies” but still find themselves in unethical dilemmas.

Corruption is evident in both the private and public sector. There is a need for better collaboration between two sectors if tangible change is to come, for organisational cultures to instil ethical behaviour and drive anti-corruption efforts. The NBI is committed to driving change towards creating a more ethical private sector by working with member companies and other key partners to address capacity-building gaps that focus on driving behavioural change.

Key contact person:

Thuthula Ndunge

Programme Manager: Social Transformation

The National Business Initiative (NBI) together with the Basel Institute on Governance, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and Covington hosted a Thought Leadership Dialogue: Partnering Against Money Laundering and Corruption in South Africa and the Subregion, on 21 February 2023.

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