Our Africa organization is proud to support the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) government initiatives, effecting transformation at a number of different levels.
We established the South Africa Foundation Trust to advance the development of black people in South Africa through educational, training and business development programmes as a broad-based ownership scheme. The trust currently owns a 25%+1 share of our Africa business.
In 2015, the Trust rolled out community outreach initiatives supporting education, health and infrastructure projects nationally. Beneficiaries of the Trust include, but are not limited to, charitable organisations, community trusts, enterprises needing development and persons in need of bursaries/scholarship. Beneficiaries of the Trust must be at least 85% black males and 30% black females.
Management Control /Employment Equity
Since the Employment Equity Act was put into effect, we have been challenged to root out unfair discrimination and transform our workplace demographics to be representative of the country’s demographics at all levels of the organisation. Of particular interest is the demographic representation of previously disadvantaged groups in broad decision making at executive, senior and middle management levels.
While meeting employment equity objectives remains a serious challenge in a manufacturing environment, our Management Control has improved through increased employment of black people at management levels and the appointment of a black woman executive. We are continuously working on attracting and retaining black employees in order to achieve transformation objectives in this space.
Skills development is high on the transformation agenda. We have spent considerable time and energy in planning our Skills Development initiatives so they are integrated with our other transformation initiatives as well as our overall business strategy.
Our focus is on skills improvement for previously disadvantaged individuals. We have intensified technical skills development through apprenticeship programs, artisan development, engineering training and a bursary programme for engineers.
Enterprise and Supplier Development
We focus on creating entrepreneurship opportunities for groups of people and suppliers who were previously excluded from participating in the mainstream economy. In one of our landmark enterprise development contributions, we have successfully worked with former machine shop workers to ensure that retrenched employees are in jobs and are empowered to have shares in a start-up business that is also a supplier to us.
In addition, we continue to support the Engineering Partners Group (EPG) machine shop initiative which was loaned 32 industrial machines, interest-free, in September 2014. EPG supplies machining services and components required by our company. We also support a roof bolter initiative, giving an emerging miner discount opportunities on a roof bolter, thus enabling their entry into the market.
Socio Economic Development
We continuously invest in the economic transformation of communities in which we do business, focusing on education, infrastructure development, and health and welfare. We have strengthened partnership platforms with our customers over the years to ensure greater impact in mining communities.
For example, we created a footprint in 13 secondary schools by providing funding for maths, science and technology projects to improve learner and teacher content knowledge in the surrounding areas of Ogies, Kriel, Secunda and Ekurhuleni. Three primary schools in the mining communities have benefitted through infrastructure development initiatives rolled out over the past three years, including renovations of a library, a computer centre, renovation of the school ablution block, and painting of the entire school building.
In support of the Mandela Day Initiative, we annually reach out to non-governmental organisations that focus on caring for orphaned, vulnerable children and children with special needs. Our employees are encouraged to reach out to communities through initiatives like our blanket drive and the 702 Sun International CEO SleepOut. These initiatives ensure that the most vulnerable in our community are kept warm in winter. The proceeds of the CEO SleepOut initiative benefit the orphaned and vulnerable children in “Girls & Boys Towns”.