The power relationship between government and business is shifting perceptibly. The state is failing and the private sector is stepping in and stepping up to provide a raft of basic services demanded by its citizenry. The change in power dynamics has important implications for the conduct of corporate citizenship in South Africa.
Definitional clarity, precision and consensus remain elusive with respect to corporate citizenship. This is variously accounted for. Most fundamentally, the lack of definitional agreement rests on the metaphorical construction of the term itself. Demonstrably, corporations are not citizens. While they carry and adopt the attributes of a legal personae, they lack either natural rights or the co-equal human and social rights enshrined within the constitutional bill of rights. At the most fundamental level, corporations lack political rights as they cannot vote.