Stock exchanges
Number of listed companies
Domestic market capitalization
million US$

Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)

Name Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)
Country South Africa
Number of listed companies 322
Domestic market capitalization 1356590.81 million US$
SSE Partner Exchange Yes
Has annual sustainability report Yes

ESG reporting required as a listing rule Yes

  • Requires (on an apply and explain basis) that listed companies annually report the extent to which they comply with the King Code. King IV includes sustainability reporting as well as integrated reporting. (Source).
  • JSE also has mandatory governance disclosure requirements beyond the principles of King.

Has written guidance on ESG reporting Yes

  • JSE Sustainability Disclosure Guidance – This paper is issued as a guidance tool that may be used by issuers on a voluntary basis to: – Assist local companies to navigate the global sustainability and ESG landscape – Provide for South Africa’s specific sustainability challenges – Improve the quality of sustainability and ESG information available to enable more informed investment decisions – Drive improved sustainability performance, accountability, and business leadership.
  • The JSE Sustainability Disclosure Guidance – Narrative Disclosures and Metrics is aligned with, and draws on, the most influential global initiatives on sustainability and climate change disclosure – including the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, and the IIRC’s International (IR) Framework – as well as an extensive range of other frameworks and standards (Annex 1), and the Sustainability/ESG guidance of various peer exchanges. This Disclosure Guidance is not intended to replace any of these global initiatives but rather seeks to help companies navigate the landscape of reporting standards, and to provide explicitly for the South African context.
  • The JSE has collaborated with the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA) assisting the King Committee on Corporate Governance Guidance to issue guidance notes on reporting against the King Code – see here.
  • The JSE is a member of the standing King Committee. King III and King IV are available online.
  • The JSE is also a founding member (and board member) of the Integrated Reporting Committee (IRC) of SA. Significant contributor to the development of guidance on integrated reporting as issued by the Integrated Reporting Committee of South Africa. It is a member of the working group which aims to put out relevant research and guidance in relation to integrated reporting. Please refer to here for further details and access to the reports produced by the IRC.
  • From an investment tool perspective, the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment (RI) index series was introduced in October 2015 and replaced the SRI Index that had been running since 2004. The methodology measures eligible companies ESG strategies and performance, thus also influencing the way companies should operate and provides a model for the kinds of ESG data companies should be disclosing. (Source).

Offers ESG related training Yes

  • Mandatory directors training is offered for smaller companies intending to list on the alternative board Alt-X, in collaboration with the Institute of Directors. See here.
  • While specialised ESG training is still nascent, the JSE continues to explore training needs of companies. Our standard course on the listings requirements covers the King Code and its reporting elements. During 2016, the JSE launched a programme on corporate ethics. See here.
  • As of 2018, the JSE offers training for listed companies on their performance in the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index which covers an analysis of the company’s performance and where the areas of strengths and weakness are.
  • Training on how to begin adopting sustainability into an exchange context is being offered to African exchanges from 2018.
  • An annual Responsible Investment / ESG Investor Briefing is run to enable investor engagement on ESG issues.
  • In 2021, JSE provided training on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD recommendations) in collaboration with the SSE, CDP and IFC. (source)

Market covered by sustainability-related index Yes

  • The JSE has adopted the FTSE ESG Ratings process to create the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index Series, launched on 12 October 2015. This replaced the SRI Index that had been running from 2004. The RI Index Series currently comprises two indices:
    • i. The FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index, a market-cap weighted index calculated on an end of day basis, comprising all eligible companies who achieve a FTSE ESG rating of 2.0 or above.
    • ii. The FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Top 30 Index, an equally weighted tradable index calculated on a real time basis, comprising the Top 30 companies ranked by FTSE ESG Rating.
  • See more here.

Has sustainability bond listing segment Yes

  • The Green Bond Segment was expanded to a fully-fledged Sustainability Segment
    • Now it includes Green bonds (including energy, water and waste); Social bonds (including UN SDGs, housing, schooling and health); and Sustainability bonds (a combination of green and social bonds).
  • See here for the announcement of first green bond listing.

The JSE will introduce two new segments to accommodate debt securities:

  • Sustainability Segment comprising Sustainability Use of Proceeds Debt Securities and Sustainability-Linked Debt Securities; and Transition Segment comprising Transition Debt Securities.

The JSE intends to amend the Debt Listings Requirements (the “Debt Requirements”) to expand the current Sustainability Segment and introduce the Transition Segment. In order to accommodate the new debt securities, the current debt instruments under the Sustainability Segment will be renamed to Sustainability Use of Proceeds Debt Securities to align with its sustainability use of proceeds objectives.

Has SME listing platform Yes

Women on boards mandatory minimum rule No

Additional information

Organizational model of stock exchange
  • Listed company for profit; demutualized in 2005 and listed in 2006.

Regulatory bodies

Regulatory model

Strong Exchange Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) Model

  • Because of the level of authority possessed by the exchange.
  • The JSE is the frontline regulator for the exchange, setting and enforcing listing and membership requirements and trading rules. The Financial Services Board (FSB) supervises the JSE in the performance of its regulatory duties.
  • The regulatory landscape is set to change significantly in the future, as South Africa looks to implement a twin peaks model of oversight. Under the new system, prudential supervision will be transferred to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and market conduct regulation will be led by a bolstered FSB.

About the stock exchange

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

  • The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (“JSE”) offers secure, efficient primary and secondary capital markets across a diverse range of securities, supported by our post-trade and regulatory services. We are the market of choice for local and international investors looking to gain exposure to the leading capital markets in South Africa and the broader African continent. The JSE is currently ranked the 17th largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalisation and the largest exchange in the African continent. The JSE was formed in 1887 during the first South African gold rush. Following the first legislation covering financial markets in 1947, the JSE joined the World Federation of Exchanges in 1963 and upgraded to an electronic trading system in the early 1990s. The bourse demutualised in 2005 and listed on its own exchange in 2006. In 2003, we launched an alternative exchange, AltX, for small and mid-sized listings, followed by the Yield X for interest rate and currency instruments. The JSE acquired the South African Futures Exchange (SAFEX) in 2001 and the Bond Exchange of South Africa (BESA) in 2009. Today we offer five financial markets namely Equities and Bonds as well as Financial, Commodity and Interest Rate Derivatives. (Source).

Criteria for Stock Exchange Database

The SSE maintains a database of sustainability activities for all stock exchanges that are either members of the SSE initiative and/or members of the World Federation of Exchanges. This database is the most comprehensive database of stock exchanges worldwide and contains data on all main stock exchanges. The information in this database is intended to inform investors and other stakeholders on the work stock exchanges are undertaking to advance sustainability in their respective markets.

The information provided in this database is based on publicly available information prepared by the SSE Secretariat with input from stock exchanges in most instances. Sources and explanatory notes on sustainability information have been included in individual Stock Exchange Fact Sheets. The criteria for each category can be found below.

While every effort is made to keep the information in this database up to date, please be aware that certain factors change frequently and therefore may not be exact, such as the number of listed companies or market cap.


Criteria Considered

Country Country of primary residence or registration
Has signed the SSE Commitment Letter? To be considered an SSE Partner Exchange, the CEO or Chairperson of the exchange must sign an SSE commitment letter. Contact the SSE for more information if your exchange would like to join.
Has annual sustainability report? For a yes, stock exchanges must report, either in a stand alone report or integrated into their financial report, on their environmental and social impact and corporate governance.
ESG reporting required as a listing rule? For a yes, all three factors have been considered (environmental, social and governance) within the listing rules for some or all listed companies. This requirement may come from the regulatory authority or the exchange, depending on the market.
Offers written guidance on ESG reporting? For a yes, all three factors have been considered (environmental, social and governance). The SSE has developed a model guidance that all exchanges can use to develop their own guidance to issuers. For more details, click here.
Offers ESG related training? For a yes, training must have taken place in the previous 12 months, and must be interactive. The topic of the training must be on some area of sustainability.
Market covered by sustainability-related index? Sustainability-related indices may include environmental or social  indices, or ESG indices. This could include specific themes, such as low carbon indices, or general sustainability indices. The index must be specific to the market the exchange operates in (a region or world index is not included).
Has sustainability bond listing segment? For a yes, the exchange has developed the rules and regulations allowing for sustainability bonds to be listed, and provides a separate segment for listing making the bonds easy to find and identify.
Has an SME listing platform? For a yes, the exchange offers a listing platform specifically for Small-and-Medium sized enterprises.
Additional Information Additional Information captures exchanges’: sustainability section of websites,  sustainability products not captured under indices; information on future sustainability commitments and other information on the exchange
Organizational model of stock exchange Whether the exchange is listed or not, and when it was demutualized
Regulatory bodies The regulatory authority that sets listing requirements and capital market regulation for the exchange's market
Regulatory model

The extent to which exchanges have regulatory authority in their market. This may include:

  • Limited exchange SRO
  • Strong exchange SRO
  • Independent member SRO
  • Government (Statutory)
  • Non-SRO
About the stock exchange The location of the headquarters of the exchange, and any additional details about the stock exchange.