The Southern African Communications Industries Association (SACIA) has, over the last few months, been actively engaged with its members and industry stakeholders to develop a Code of Conduct for the communications industry in the region. The lengthy and interactive process has resulted in a code designed to promote ethical business practice and aims to make the SACIA logo synonymous with trust and quality.
The ethics and accountability drive began In April 2012 when SACIA members elected a new board, chaired by Bruce Genricks, to lead the association for a two year period. Soon after, in June, the new board convened for a full-day strategy session to define SACIA’s objectives and activities for the coming year.
The meeting was attended by the SACIA board and key stakeholders within the broadcast and pro-AV industry and moderated by Dr Nico Walters from the Strategy Institute of South Africa. The key objectives discussedwere the need to market the association, expand membership and ensure that the SACIA logo becomes synonymous with ethical business practice in the industry.
Kevan Jones CTS, Executive Director of SACIA, indicated that they requested help from the Ethics Institute of South Africa in order to develop a code of conduct that is relevant to the industry. “We organized an industry networking breakfast in Johannesburg on 5 October 2012 and invited Kris Dobie from the Ethics Institute to lead the discussion and gather feedback from industry delegates. We also invited South African Screen Federation (SASFED) and other industry associations to send delegates,’ he stated.
“The presentation was recorded by the SABC, and a series of videos of the presentation and subsequent discussions were put together by Libravision in Cape Town. These videos were then uploaded to the SACIA Vimeo site. Based on the discussions at the Ethics breakfast in October, we then drafted an interim Code which was circulated to all members and industry partners for comment.’
In the following months the Ethics video was viewed by nearly 200 people and SACIA received feedback from more than 100 associations and individuals. The Ethics Institute then collated the feedback and produced the final business code adopted by the SACIA Board in early January.
According to Jones the board was cognisant of the fact that an effective code of conduct was based on input from the industry. “We wanted to make sure that we were not imposing a code onto the market, but rather providing as many people as possible with the opportunity to contribute to the development of this code,’ he added.
The final version of the SACIA Code of Conduct was launched earlier this year in January. So far, about half of the SACIA members have become signatories with the remainder expected to ratify by the end of April. The code can be downloaded from the home page of the SACIA website at www.sacia.org.za.