Sustainability Elements Reported on by JSE-listed Companies that are Affected by Pandemics

(Pages 1170-1188)

Anneke Maré Moolmana,*, Jaco Paulus Fouchéb and Verona Leendertzb
aFaculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University Vanderbijlpark Campus; 1174 Hendrik van Eck Boulevard; Vanderbijlpark; 1900.
bFaculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University Potchefstroom Campus; 11 Hofmann Street; Potchefstroom; 2531.


COVID-19 exemplified how pandemics cause major shocks to companies’ sustainability, a vital matter to stakeholders. This study aimed to determine the sustainability elements reported on by companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) that are affected by pandemics. The study followed a qualitative approach, whereby the annual reports of 45 JSE-listed companies one year prior and one year into COVID-19 were thematically analysed in Atlas.ti 9™. A comprehensive list of 54 elements affected by pandemics from all four components of sustainability (financial, environmental, social and governance) is provided. We also found that companies comprehensively included pandemic-related disclosure during an outbreak, but prior to such an outbreak, disclosure is inadequate. Our work encourages companies towards comprehensive pandemic-related disclosure regarding current, but also future pandemics, given its likelihood. Pandemic-related disclosure regarding future pandemics would inform companies’ stakeholders of companies’ preparedness for such a pervasive risk, further informing the stakeholders of sustainability. While previous literature on pandemics’ effect on companies’ sustainability is limited to a pandemic’s effect within a specific industry, this study considers annual report disclosures from all JSE-listed industries. The list can be used by companies as a pandemic-related reporting guideline to inform stakeholders of their sustainability, especially as current sustainability frameworks do not specify pandemic-related disclosure requirements.


COVID-19, Pandemic, Sustainability reporting, Listed companies.

How to Cite:

Anneke Maré Moolman, Jaco Paulus Fouché and Verona Leendertz. Sustainability Elements Reported on by JSE-listed Companies that are Affected by Pandemics. [ref]: vol.21.2023. available at:

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