On Friday, 22 September 266 business men and women attended the Unashamedly Ethical business and fundraising breakfast, held at the Elangeni Hotel and organised by Compass Cares’, the corporate social investment arm of Compass Medical Waste Services. The aim of the breakfast was to raise awareness and funds for Unashamedly Ethical, Christian Sports and Business Ministry (CSBM) and iThemba Lethu, as well as to encourage South Africans to take a stand against corruption.
A total of R52 500 was raised on the day, which Compass Medical Waste Services rounded up to R60 000 meaning that each of the beneficiaries received a R20 000 donation. An additional R16 000 was raised for iThemba Lethu through the silent auction of a photograph by Matthew Willman, Mandela’s official photographer, and signed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The photograph, entitled Ubunye, meaning “unity” in Zulu, went to West African Group, the successful bidder.
Craig McIntosh, son of rugby legend Ian McIntosh and committee member for CSBM, was the MC for the morning and after welcoming the guests, introduced the chairman of Unashamedly Ethical (UE), Dr Marius Fourie, who explained what the goals of the global organisation are.
“Unashamedly Ethical confront corruption and injustice through co-ordinated, targeted and impactful advocacy and campaigns to advance ethical behaviour,’’ explained Marius.
“Our objective is to reach a tipping point where ethical behaviour becomes the norm and we do this through lobbying commitment to support ethics, managing a directory of committed organisations and individuals who support each other, and ensuring accountability through an independent ombudsperson,’’ continued Marius.
“UE has more than 30 000 signatories in 112 countries, the top being South Africa, Malaysia, USA, Kenya and Jamaica.”
After encouraging attendees to sign the UE commitment form, a DVD was screened showcasing the UE international ambassadors who believe that it is possible to reach a tipping point where the pendulum in the world swings from unethical to ethical behaviour.
Next up was Michael Cassidy, patron for UE, evangelist and founder of African Enterprises, who stressed that corruption was a disease spreading through Africa. He challenged individuals and companies to take a stand against corruption and embrace “honesty in detail” – his definition of ethical.
Before breakfast was served, the Compass Cares’ DVD was shown which included a segment on iThemba Lethu, an NPO established in 2000 which Compass has supported for the past eight years. Their primary objective is to reunite babies and toddlers with their families through reunification or adoption. The organisation believes in hope, that every child understands their value and has a destiny.
After breakfast, Graham Power, founder of the Power Group and Unashamedly Ethical, took to the stage to speak on how he transformed his life and his business from the age of 43.
In the mid to late 1990s tender fixing in the construction industry was rife. Graham explained that if the tender was to be submitted on a Friday, for example, the participating companies would meet the day before and reveal their prices. The lowest bidder’s price would then be used but significantly inflated and once the tender was awarded, the surplus inflated price, which had been agreed upon, was split between all the tenderers.
After making the decision to become unashamedly ethical, Graham withdrew from this arrangement and when the construction companies were named and shamed on the front page of the newspaper, subsequently to 2010 Soccer World Cup, for tender fixing he was relieved and grateful that the Power Group was not part of this list.
When deciding whether something is ethical or not, Graham always asks himself the following questions:
- Is it legal?
- Is it a win-win situation?
- How would it make me feel if my family knew about this decision?
- How would I feel if it was published in the newspaper?
The morning ended with a question and answer session followed by Graham signing his book entitled ‘Not by Might Nor by Power.’
Compass Medical Waste Services would like to thank the gift bag and prize sponsors, the Elangeni Hotel, Selbys Productions, Summerhill Guest House and Pinetown Printers for their contribution to the event.
For more information on Unashamedly Ethical, please visit Unashamedly Ethical and consider making the pledge to becoming unashamedly ethical, in both your personal and business capacity.