The concept of ubuntu originates from Africa which includes the essential human virtues such as compassion and humanity. The essence of which is the ability of being human and valuing the good of the community above self-interest. Did you know however, that ubuntu is also a legal principle? In the legal context, as per Kroeze, the ubuntu concept is used to give content to rights, as a constitutional value, and to limit rights, as part of the values of an open and democratic society.
Applying ubuntu to business
- The concept of ubuntu in business is evident in the increase of concepts such as social entrepreneurship and ‘business for good’.
- Accordingly, the concept of Ubuntu can be applied in business strategies to secure progressive partnerships and client relationships.
- With information being only a click away for consumers, businesses have to be transparent with their consumers. By applying principles such as ubuntu within their operations, businesses will reap the long-term benefits.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the best and the worst from businesses. An example of this is visible in the relationship between tenants and landlords. Some landlords refused to assist their tenants during this time by offering relief or negotiating creative solutions.
The judiciary however, applied the principle of ubuntu and banned any evictions during the period of lockdown. This was further supported by government’s call to businesses, including landlords, to treat each other with compassion during this unprecedented time. It has further been argued that, coming out of lockdown, courts will apply the principle of ubuntu by looking at the position of the parties and considering the impact that lockdown had on businesses as a reason for non-payment of debts.
Landlords who have offered relief to their tenants have seen positive publicity and it builds rapport with their current and future clients. The same is true for those businesses who have made concerted efforts to secure the employment of their employees.
Top 5 advantages of ubuntu in business
- Clients know their interests are a priority
- Ubuntu is a concept in the South African constitution
- Creating social change in the community
- Studies show consumers prefer companies with relatable values
- Better quality employees are more selective about where they choose to work
6 steps to implement ubuntu in business
How can we help
- Let us help you put unique policies in place for your business
- Assist in establishing a social and ethics committee
- Help understand compliance within your business
- Ensure your contracts are best practice
- Create an environment that is compliant with law and ensures trust in your business
- Develop and implement ubuntu in your business including the above 6 steps and more
- Audit your company’s risks and identify opportunities for improvement
The information shared on this article/blog/vlog should be read and understood within the current legal framework of South Africa. It is meant purely for educational discussion and does not amount to legal advice. For specific legal advice, please consult a legal practitioner prior to application.