Examination of Witnesses (Questions 360
THURSDAY 29 JUNE 2000
360. Do you agree with that?
(Ms Crisp) I do not agree or disagree. I have not
seen a study that has shown that there is a significant difference
between migrant workers, particularly in our situation, and other
population groups in terms of their HIV prevalence. In fact, the
Carletonville project has shown, as I think Brian mentioned earlier,
that the prevalence level amongst mineworkers in Carletonville
is not significantly different from that of people in the surrounding
361. If one is really going to be serious about
tackling this issue it cannot just be done on a workplace basis
because for a lot of time people will be outside the workplace.
I assume it is their behaviour outside work that is the crucial
(Ms Crisp) Well, we hope it is.
362. Yes, indeed. I just wonder what analysis
does go on between the private sector and the public sector and
others about how you create the kinds of communities that are
least likely to be HIV-positive in high numbers. Does any work
(Ms Franklin) There are certainly a lot of partnerships
that go on which are encouraged from UNAIDS and the IPAA, which
I know you have heard about already, and individual company partnerships
with other NGOs. I do not know whether there has been the specific
research that you have mentioned but in order for any of us to
make a difference it needs to be hand in hand with other groups.
MTV is not an expert on AIDS, therefore we partner with UNAIDS
to give us some expertise. The Global Business Council is partnering
up with other companies so that we can ensure the expertise we
have and the tools that we have are accessible to all other companies.
It is a question of making sure that we have the right partnership
363. That takes me on to my next but one question.
Perhaps we could expand on your role at this point about how it
works, how you spread best practice, and the contribution that
the Business Council can make.
(Ms Franklin) The Global Business Council's role is
leadership and advocacy. It is made up of a group of businesses,
multi-nationals, regional companies, national companies. All of
the members, to date, have a good track record with HIV and AIDS
policies. What we all have are tools at our disposal. Those are
no cost, low cost or, within AngloCoal and Standard Chartered,
high cost due to where their companies are based. Any company,
small, medium or large, can come to us and find out what we do.
The Global Business Council has a corporate leadership statement
which we invite any company to sign which makes public their commitment
to dealing with HIV and AIDS. That is a no cost example for a
company to become involved. Or you could approach us to help write
an HIV and AIDS policy for your company. Again, it is a no cost
way of ensuring that your employees know what you support. There
are various other tools. There is the Prince of Wales' Business
Leaders Forum Report which we are launching in Durban which gives
17 case studies of different companies in the developing world
and the developed world, how they are dealing with HIV and AIDS.
The GBC has a website whereby companies can easily access the
information that they need.
364. I am very conscious that we are talking
to you today as big companies, that you are leaders in your field,
you are household names. Have you got a picture for us of what
percentage of the workforce are in companies like yourselves and
what percentage are in small and medium sized enterprises, the
informal sector? When we talk about policy for business, how many
people would we reach through big companies? Have you any spread
of economic enterprise size?
(Mr Cochrane) Which countries?
365. Exactly. South Africa, Botswana. When we
talk, as we have done today, to companies such as yourselves who
have a policy, how many people are we reaching? Guess.
(Dr Brink) I do not have that number available, we
could probably find it for you.
366. The country economic organisations would
probably have this kind of picture, would they not?
(Dr Brink) I am sure it is easily available. One thing
I do think, certainly for South Africa and probably Southern Africa,
the growth of small and medium enterprises is critical to the
development of the economy, so we have to find a way that those
small businesses also take their part in dealing with this.
367. What are you? A small minority?
(Ms Crisp) I would say so, yes.
368. Ten per cent?
(Mr Wheeler) Broadly.
(Mr Cochrane) I would have thought it was more than
that in South Africa.
369. But in Botswana and Zambia? It will depend,
in Zambia, on the influence of copper belts and so on.
(Mr Wheeler) Yes.
370. Can I ask about the interrelationship between
the donors, like DFID, the European Union, other national donor
nations and large NGOs? Can you draw our attention to any good
examples of how they are working with the private sector and what
is the proper relationship between donors and the private sector?
We have been to places and have said, "Really that is the
responsibility of the private sector, we should not be putting
public money into that." Can you talk about that relationship,
between the donors and the private sector? Good examples, bad
(Ms Crisp) Historically, it has been the impression
of the private sector that the donor agencies work with governments
and work with NGOs, and we have not historically seen a relationship
between donor agencies and the private sector. In situations like
the Carletonville Project, that is a partnership with the community
and employers and there is now funding from the donor agency,
but that is a relatively new development. One of our operations,
AngloCoal, which has a similar sort of project in the Mpumalanga
area, is talking to donors because they want to extend that project
in conjunction with the local government and local communities
to a much broader base than they have at the moment. So I would
like to think there is an opportunity for that co-operation, but
it is certainly something where the opportunity has not been there
371. So when you go to somewhere like Carletonville,
this is a one-off basically? There is not much else going on?
(Dr Brink) I think Carletonville is a good one. It
is a good example of the kind of partnership between business,
government, local communities, and donor agencies can assist with
that, and it has been particularly successful. We must build on
those. There are lots of those initiatives.
(Ms Franklin) It is the partnerships which are important.
The donor agencies can fund an NGO, and a private company is then
working with the NGOs.
372. Sorry, I am including where, say, DFID
gives money to an NGO, where DFID is approving an NGO's activity.
I am not talking about DFID directly doing it themselves, so we
are not talking about the donor agencies. I am asking, where does
public money get to through NGOs to work with the private sector?
That is pretty rare?
(Mr Wheeler) It is not very visible.
(Mr Cochrane) On the treatment side, there is a huge
amount, but that is not what you are asking about. On the educational
side, there is not actually a lot of partnership going on. UNICEF
are doing an awful lot of work in terms of children and mother-to-child
transmission. There are education programmesthe Ugandan
Government, the Cote d'Ivoire Government, a whole host of governments
in Africabut they are rather specific projects which are
funded specifically. If you talk to DFID you will find out they
are funding quite a few programmes around Africa, as is the French
Government, as is the World Bank. The World Bank, and we have
had a lot of contact with them recently
373. But it is the education sector?
(Mr Cochrane) Yes, in information.
374. Finally, can I ask about the need for legislation
in countries in Southern Africa on issues relating to HIV in the
work place, be it on work place benefits, retirement, non-discrimination
and testing, tax breaks? That is a lot of questions but are there
legislative flaws which should be put right to reflect what ought
to be done by the governments of those countries? Is there anything
from the private sector view-point relating to HIV-AIDS which
governments should be tackling and changing the law on?
(Mr Wheeler) There is the generic point which is that
in many countries medical and insurance schemes do not exist,
so we are starting from a very different field from the ones we
would normally approach. South Africa is different, Botswana,
Zimbabwe, they are all different, they have all got schemes, but
as you move north it is limited.
(Ms Franklin) In other countries as well, in Latin
America, in the Dominican Republic, they have just put in a non-discrimination
law for people with HIV and AIDS, but there is still so much learning
and education to be done in the whole country it tends to be this
law is still ignored. So we are still at the very early stages,
and when we go back to education and awareness this has to be
(Dr Brink) To the extent the legislation facilitates
a proper response to the HIV epidemic, that is good, and I think
South Africa has been somewhat in the lead in trying to develop
such legislation. What is particularly important is to look to
what is the intention of the legislator, and developing legislation
is a difficult process, you do not always get it right first time
round, and I would see that we need to work together between the
private sector and government to develop appropriate legislation
that is actually going to facilitate a healthy environment for
dealing with this epidemic.
Chairman: Thank you all very much indeed
for your patience in answering our questions and for coming here
this morning. I would particularly like to thank Dr Brian Brink
and Ms Crisp who I believe have travelled from South Africa to
be here this morning, so that is an extra special effort and thank
you both very much for doing that. What we plan to do now is have
Mr James Cochrane remain at the table and the rest of you retirewe
would be very happy if you would like to stay in the public gallery
behind youbecause we now need to talk about the whole question
of the drugs treatment which is available. We would like to invite
Mr Saul Walker to join us at the table. Thank you all very much.