Tracey Davies
Rainmakers & Potstirrers

Tracey Davies


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‘There’s a white knight mentality in corporate South Africa: Government is dysfunctional, and business will save the day, so why are you challenging us when you should be challenging government?’

IN June 2023, Just Share celebrated its fifth birthday – a period its founder Tracey Davies described as a rollercoaster ride. Since the shareholder activist NGO arrived on the scene, it has attended over 60 annual general meetings, where directors and executives often have had to field uncomfortable questions about their (lack of) progress on climate ambitions. “We try and celebrate the little wins,” Davies said in a radio interview, admitting that issues like climate change and inequality were moving targets. Just Share’s objectives are to point out the discrepancies in corporate accountability or, as she says: “What business says it’s doing and what’s really happening with ESG [environmental, social and governance issues].”

In 2023, Just Share published its first Vertical Pay Gaps report, in which the salaries of employees at four big corporates were assessed. The NGO is lobbying for legislation that will compel the private sector to make information on wages public. In 2023, Just Share kept a close eye on the shortcomings of the climate policies of big polluters, notably Sasol and coal miners. Davies is unflinching in her assessments: of Exxaro Resources, she said the miner did not present a “compelling case for any science-based net-zero strategy”. She also accused the company of not taking climate change seriously.

As a regular columnist of Financial Mail, Davies has underscored the doublespeak in the Cabinet, where ministers often contradict one another on South Africa’s net-zero and Just Transition ambitions.


Davies has a BA LLB from the University of Cape Town, an LLM from the New York University School of Law and a qualification in sustainable finance from Oxford University’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. She is admitted as an attorney in South Africa and a solicitor in Britain and Wales. She serves on the advisory board for the National Business Initiative’s Just Transition Pathways Initiative, and the Global Reporting Initiative’s Human Rights Technical Committee. Prior to founding Just Share, she was a senior attorney and programme head for corporate accountability and transparency at the Centre for Environmental Rights.

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