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Student Research Projects

Colin Habberton

profile colinhabbertonPhD Topic:

Connecting Capital - Methods and Implications of Incentivising ESG Investing in South Africa


Prof Suzette Viviers, Department of Information Science, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Stellenbosch University.


In alignment with international trends, financial instruments focused on sustainability are slowly emerging in South Africa, facilitating the flow of capital connected to investments and offering measurable impact from an environmental, social, governance (ESG) and financial perspective. In terms of the increasingly pressing needs of the planet and its people, the role and practice of investor decision-making regarding these ESG criteria in South Africa require further enquiry.
This research will investigate if and how investor decisions ultimately contribute to nonfinancial outcomes and to what extent current incentive frameworks and the systems that support them act as catalysts in the process. The purpose of the research will be to contribute new knowledge to understanding the current incentives driving ESG-oriented institutional investor decision-making in South Africa. Furthermore, the research is intended to provide a body of academic evidence to encourage further research and practical interventions to guide institutional investors, as key agents, towards investment decision-making that factors in the impact and long-term effects of those decisions with regard to ESG indicators and outcomes. The resultant descriptions, analyses and recommendations relating to the incentive frameworks surrounding ESG investing will aim to offer academics and practitioners a new perspective to consider how and why decisions regarding the flow and allocation of capital are made. It is envisaged that the insights derived from further interrogation and the application of the incentive frameworks described in this study might encourage and support the growing academic and commercial interest and activity of this investment paradigm in supporting social and environmental sustainability.

Disciplinary history:

Bachelor of Social Science (Economics and Business Administration),
University of Durban, Natal (1998); MPhil in Information & Knowledge Management (cum
laude), SU (2005)

Faculty/department of registration:

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dept. of Information
Technology (2013)
transdiciplinary, sustainability, analysis, modelling & assessment HUB.


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