Human capital

Highlights Disappointments Opportunities
  • 53 261 people employed in FY2009 (employees and contractors).
  • Employee turnover showed signs of decreasing in the latter half of the year, as a result of interventions and the global financial crisis.
  • Robust and positive collective bargaining structures in place, with no significant break-downs in relations during the year.
  • Employee turnover – at 7.8% - remained higher than desired in certain employment categories, but lower than the 8.9% in FY2008 overall.
  • Progress in promoting HDSAs in management and women in mining was disappointing, with targets not achieved.
  • Further exposition of the Employee Value Proposition expected to reap rewards in the coming year.

Management approach

An organisational review project undertaken during the year resulted in a new structure being implemented at group level. This has an impact on both the operational structure and on reporting lines, with a fundamental split being implemented between operations and growth projects.

Implats remains a significant employer in the areas in which it operates, both of permanent employees and contractors. A continuing factor during FY2009 was the high level of contractor involvement in major capital projects and this is expected to start declining in FY2010.

As an employer, Implats aims to provide satisfactory careers and career development paths for all its employees and, given the requirements of the Mining Charter, particularly for those HDSA employees at the South African operations. Given the skills shortages that have prevailed in the industry in recent years, much emphasis is placed on skills development, and this is expected to continue in the year ahead.

While the management of people is a designated line function, central policies and practices are devised and monitored at a corporate level with specialists overseeing, for example, remuneration, employment equity, industrial relations, and training and development, among others.

Those human capital initiatives begun the previous year continued in FY2009 with the restructuring and streamlining of executive management, development of detailed labour plans in support of the company’s planned growth and development, and increased managerial focus on cost savings.

In FY2009, greater emphasis was placed on the relevance of these initiatives in attracting and retaining the skills critical to the company’s success and viability. The particular focus in FY2009 was on addressing operational under-performance as a result of the shortage of supervisory and skilled employees, which in turn had a negative effect on safety and productivity. The attraction and retention of the calibre of employee required was the focus of the recruitment, selection, reward and talent management programmes. There was a shift in emphasis to a consideration of the entire ‘employee value proposition’. This is described as the relationship between the company and employees in a partnership in which individual contributions are recognised, so as to create an environment where employees feel valued and can grow and develop.

Monitoring of the recruitment process intensified so as to increase and ensure its effectiveness while employee remuneration and benefits were proactively benchmarked so as to monitor their competitiveness.

Performance in 2009

Employment created

At the end of FY2009 the Implats group employed a total of 53 261 people, made up of 36 000 employees (68%) and 17 261 contractors (32%). This was attributed to capital projects that were finalised and permanent employees employed. Unlike a number of its peers, Implats did not embark on any major restructuring and retrenchment programmes. It is anticipated that employee turnover will remain high in certain skills in FY2010. This is expected to affect particularly management and supervisory levels.

Total number of employees and contractors
  2009  2008 
Rustenburg29 46211 86240 14128 45314 20642 659
Impala Springs1 0069041 9101 0071 1722 179
Marula2 5129983 5102 4931 0983 591
Zimplats2 1363 3235 4591 5843 9985 582
Corporate office722092731083
Group36 00017 26153 26134 38120 61054 991

* 50% Mimosa employees reported

Origins of employees

Preference is given to sourcing employees locally where possible. Given the historical structure of the South African mining industry and the migrant labour system, there remains a significant number of employees (15%) at the South African operations whose permanent homes are outside the borders of South Africa. While Implats does not discriminate against employees from other countries, it is the company’s long-term goal that employees should be drawn from and housed with their families where this is possible, in the area of the operation. Implats’ South African labour distribution is as shown in the table below.

Origins of Employees (SA operations)
AreaTotalRustenburgHead OfficeMarulaRefineries
Eastern Cape4 6794 452017948
Free State74969303620
Gauteng1 5107096652683
KwaZulu Natal63455202458
Limpopo2 45939601 955108
North West Province16 21616 13155525
Northern Cape1 6561 648035
Western Cape1915040
Lesotho2 1132 105008
Mozambique1 9971 995002
Total from South Africa28 24824 775722 412989
Total from SADC4 8044 687010017
Total33 05229 462722 5121 006

Employee retention

Employee turnover decreased to 7.8% in FY2009, higher than desired, at the Zimbabwean operations, and particularly in certain job categories. The shrinking job market within the South African mining industry as a number of mining companies have undertaken retrenchments and the increased focus on employee retention has paid dividends, with employee turnover levels declining in the second half of the year. Around 4% of the total turnover represents women in certain categories especially supervisory and technical positions.

Turnover levels (%)
 All employeesWomen
Impala Rustenburg7.38.30.3
Impala Springs8.69.11.4
Corporate office11.15.56.9

Key initiatives begun in FY2008 and continued in FY2009 were:

  • A new accommodation strategy to uplift the housing and living conditions of the majority of employees, and in which the provision of quality accommodation (with associated infrastructure) is seen as a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining employees.
  • The third year of the group’s ESOP in South Africa.
  • The Ama-Ching-Ching Bonus Scheme, which demonstrated some success during the first half of the year, was less successful in the second half. Declining operational performance during the year resulted in a decrease in payments to employees. A regular review of incentives to support business objectives allows for swift adjustments to circumstances.

In line with the group’s aim to continue to improve its ‘employee value proposition’, a number of programmes and objectives have been put in place for implementation in FY2010, including:

  • further alignment of employee benefits across the group. Benefits provided to employees include maternity and paternity leave, study assistance, medical aid and accommodation, pension and provident funds, among others;
  • review of preferred compensation schemes, the Share Appreciation Bonus Scheme and the implementation of revised performance evaluation, all aimed at the retention of senior management;
  • review of operational bonus parameters to ensure alignment with the group’s business plan objectives;
  • review of overall remuneration practices to ensure that they are highly effective and competitive; and
  • the talent management programme.

Developing and managing talent

Much emphasis is placed on the education, training and development of employees at all levels to ensure that the skills necessary for sustainable and efficient functioning of the company and its operations are available. Training is conducted both internally and externally. Key indicators relating to training and development during the year for South African operations only:

  • The total value of both external and internal training provided by the South African operations (excluding ABET) was R262 million (FY2008: R215 million including ABET).
  • The total number of hours of external and internal training provided to South African employees (excluding ABET) was 2.8 million hours, which is some 84 hours per employee.
  • The total value of ABET training provided by the group was R18 million (FY2008: R26 million).
  • The total number of people trained (internally and externally) including ABET during the year was 23 734, about 72% of South African employees.

Human Resources Development centres located at Impala Rustenburg and Refineries retained their Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) accreditation, as well as their ISO 9001 2008 Quality Management certification, enabling the group to deliver fully accredited and quality-assured training to employees. Marula’s Human Resources Development Centre received this accreditation in March 2009.

Value of training provided (excluding ABET) – by operation (R000)
Impala Rustenburg18 63811 397199 569130 038218 207141 435
Impala Springs5 5054 70427 42423 17432 92927 880
Marula13072010 8007 10011 0007 800
SA operations24 27316 823237 793160 312262 136177 115
Hours of external training (excluding ABET) – by operation (000hrs)
Impala Rustenburg70.879.52 4381 7612 5091 841
Impala Springs4049.4235180275229
SA operations excl Marula1111292 6731 9412 7842 070
Number of people trained externally and internally (excluding ABET) – by operation
 ExternalInternal Total
Impala Rustenburg67066320 52972521 19921 838
Impala Springs4064305964731 002903
SA operations1 1211 20221 5711 50822 69223 160
Value of ABET, hours of ABET and number of employees received ABET – by operation (000hrs)(R000)
 Value of ABETHours of ABET AffordedNumber of employees
Impala Rustenburg11 31523 055 194 184345 5049391 220
Impala Springs5 862 3 12439 08849 2006189
Marula90048013 92015 3604223
SA operations18 07726 659247 192410 0641 0421 332

Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET)

Given the low levels of literacy at the South African operations and the requirements of the Mining Charter regarding employee training and development, adult basic education and training (ABET) is a priority. The literacy level at Impala Rustenburg is currently 54.9%, 90% at Impala Springs and 87.9% at Marula. This represents a significant increase in those numbers reported in the prior year and is a reflection of the skills audit undertaken during the year at Impala Rustenburg, which resulted in the identification of a far greater percentage of employees who are literate. All employees at the corporate office and Zimbabwe operations are literate.

ABET is provided on both a full time (31% of total intake) and part time basis (69% of total intake). A total of 1042 individuals participated in ABET in FY2009 with 417 having been in the programme at the end of the year. Full time ABET is provided according to developmental and business plan needs. The provision of ABET and the fulfilment of the company’s charter obligations are not without challenges: pass rates are low (25%) as training is frequently interrupted by periods of leave; attendees are fatigued after long and physically arduous shifts; and the quality and availability of part time facilitators varies. Two community-based ABET facilities (Boitekong and Thlahane) attracted little interest.

Talent development and management

Implats’ talent management programme is based on two foundations:

  • developing the group’s own talent. This involves the development of people within the company, and is aimed at more senior positions, specifically key leadership, supervisory and technical skills. Talent planning (succession) and talent identification (talent pools) constitute the most important initiatives.
  • recruiting external talent: To sustainably grow talent from within, it is important that the company selects the right mix of technical, social and leadership skills at entry level. In this regard, the leadership and graduate recruitment processes are critical.

The talent management programme includes career progression, individual development, mentoring and succession planning, and increased focus on technical training, graduate recruitment and performance management, all of which is aimed at ensuring an adequate future supply of the scarce and critical skills required by the industry in particular, and the economy in general.

Some 230 employees participated in this programme in FY2009. Efforts have been made to extend the depth of succession planning from the executive and senior management levels to middle management and supervisory levels.

Implats’ Leadership Development Programme focuses on executive succession, identifying talented individuals with the potential to advance to the executive and board level. Full-time on-the-job development opportunities are offered to identified individuals and, in collaboration with GIBS, a tailored Intermediate Management Development Programme is offered. Some 28 employees participated in this programme, with 46% HDSAs and 21% women.

The supervisory/technical development programme focuses on mine, plant and project managers, shift supervisors, section engineers and plant engineering foremen. In FY2009, approximately 31 employees participated in this programme of which 87% were HDSAs and 29% women.

The recruitment element of the programme comprises the allocation of bursaries, learnerships and apprenticeships to deserving individuals.

A total of 14 new bursaries were awarded in FY2009 at a cost to the group of close on R1 million, primarily in the fields of mining and chemical engineering. Of the recipients, 46% were HDSAs and 15% were women. A further 16 bursaries were awarded as part of the group socio-economic development programme.

A total of 160 new learnerships were offered in 2009 as part of the company’s skills development programme.

Training at the Skills Development Centre (SDC) at the local technical high school in Rustenburg started in July 2008 with 60 learners from the school. A service level agreement was set up between the Impala Engineering Training Centre and the SDC, bringing the SDC to the norms and standards of the MQA. Basic off-the-job training is offered at the SDC is for diesel mechanics, electricians, fitters and boiler makers. Surveying will be added in FY2010.

In January 2009, the group of learners from the school was increased to 90 and they were joined by 38 students from the Impala Sports Academy, bringing the total number of trainees to 128. The first matriculants completing school will be available for recruitment to Impala Rustenburg in November 2009.

Training is undertaken by the technical teachers at the school, at the end of the normal school day. The workshops are used by the school as part of the normal school curriculum in the mornings.

HDSA representation in management (South Africa)
 Target %Total number of
HDSA % of total employees/ membersHDSA % of total employees/ members
Senior management40262727
Middle management402994847
Total management 3334545

Employment equity

Transformation within the mining industry remains a national imperative. Implats is of the view that a ‘transformed’ organisation is one that is sustainable in the long term, and transformation is accorded a high priority within the group.

In line with Implats’ commitment to meeting the targets set by the Mining Charter and its accompanying scorecard, a specific focus of the company’s employment strategy at its South African operations is to attract, retain, educate, train, develop and promote HDSAs. HDSAs are defined in terms of the MPRD Act and the Mining Charter. This is also referred to as designated employees in terms of the Employment Equity Act and is inclusive of white women.

Included in this are programmes related to talent management, the transfer of skills, preferential recruitment, accelerated training and a bursary scheme.

By end FY2009, 45% of total management were categorised as being HDSA (FY2008: 45%). This is compared with the Mining Charter target of having 40% of management being HDSA by 2009.

Women in mining

Implats is similarly committed to the employment of women in mining, for which the Mining Charter has prescribed a target of 10% by 2009. ‘Women in mining’ is defined as females employed in the core business of mining. In 2009, Implats employed 2 098 women in mining, which represents 7% of the total South African workforce. Programmes are in place to promote the employment of women in mining and include career and individual development planning, accelerated training, mentoring and promotional opportunities. Specific policies (pregnancy and sexual harassment policies) facilitate the employment of women in mining. Separate change–houses and ablution facilities have been provided.

As at 30 June 2009, 9% of the South African workforce comprised women (30 June 2008: 8.3%) with 18% of senior and middle management being women (FY2008: 18%).

A number of challenges exist in meeting the Mining Charter and SLP targets: A high percentage of women recruits fail the heat tolerance tests which all mineworkers need to pass before they may work underground, owing to innate biological disposition; new recruitments show a clear preference for surface employment and transfer when an opportunity presents; and women who are pregnant are immediately prohibited from working underground (in terms of legislation).

Women at Implats (South Africa)
 Target %Total employees/ membersTotal number of women employees% of women in workforce% of women in workforceTotal number of women employees
Board 1013431314
Senior management1096101099
Middle management106291201919115
Management sub-total107381321818128
Skilled104 34340099336
Non-skilled1027 9802 262872 032
Total1033 0612 796882 496

Employee relations

Employee relations at all Implats’ operations falls within the ambit of the constitutions and prevailing legislation in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Much of this legislation is in turn guided by international regulations and conventions, including various International Labour Organization (ILO) declarations.

In South Africa, this legislation includes the Labour Relations Act, the Employment Equity Act, the Mine Health and Safety Act, the MPRDA and the Mining Charter. At an operational level within the company, specialist human resources, training and industrial relations personnel assist and advise line management in managing and developing human capital, and in ensuring legislative compliance.

In terms of the legislation, formal employee relations are mostly governed by collective bargaining processes that include a recognition agreements with the labour unions which represent employees. Aspects covered include, among others, salaries and salary reviews, participation by employees or unions in various decision-making forums, notice periods for advising on significant organisational changes, among others.

In South Africa, approximately 70% of the Implats’ workforce is unionised, or subject to collective bargaining agreements. The two major unions recognised here are the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), representing 63.5% of employees, and the United Association of South Africa (UASA), representing 6.4% of employees.

In Zimbabwe, the National Labour Act governs employee relations. A collective bargaining agreement is negotiated at an industry level by the National Employment Council for the Mining Industry. About 86% of Implats’ Zimbabwean workforce is covered by collective bargaining agreements. Workers’ committees participate in operation-based interaction with management.

Percentage of workforce that is unionised, by operation (%) FY2009
Impala Rustenburg70.3
Impala Springs59.9
Average for SA operations67

In terms of a two-year wage agreement entered into in July 2007 between the South African unions and the company, employees received a 12.1% increase for the second year (effective 1 July 2008) and a 12.6% at the lower levels. Wage negotiations for the next period began in June 2009.

Although official wage negotiations were not undertaken in Zimbabwe during the year, given the hyperinflation in the country, employee wages are reviewed frequently and significant increases granted at all levels.

With the exception of one unprotected work stoppage at Marula on 29 and 30 October 2008, involving 900 employees, no notable labour disruptions were recorded in FY2009.

Management and supervisory employee performance is appraised at regular intervals against a set of predetermined targets.

This takes place at various intervals, but at least annually as part of the skills management programme. Performance appraisals for employees at middle and senior management levels are used to determine annual performance-based increases.

It is group policy to ensure that there is no gender or racial discrimination regarding payments made to employees. It is practice to remunerate employees equally based on position, value to the organisation, market-related remuneration and individuals’ experience and expertise. Employment equity reports are submitted annually to the South African Department of Labour.

In line with the group’s SLPs, as well as with labour union recognition agreements, provision is made for life-long learning, and support is given for external education and training. Sabbatical study periods are granted with a guaranteed return to employment, and allowance is made for the retraining of employees in the event of restructuring.

Housing and living conditions

In FY2008, Implats undertook a thorough review of its accommodation strategy and a new approach was adopted. Significant expenditure was allocated to this area, which is reported in the Socio-economic development section.

Objectives for FY2010

Key imperatives for the year ahead are:

  • Continued focus on the ‘employee value proposition’, so as to attract and retain employees.
  • Building up of the management and leadership development programmes, with a 50% increase in intake planned.
  • Continued emphasis on imparting technical skills to employees and potential employees (through learnerships), and equipping employees with basic core skills so that they may pursue career progression.
  • A focus on the critical mining and technical skills programme, and close alignment of this with the group bursary programme.
  • Review of the management transformation initiatives so as to improve performance in respect of women in mining and HDSAs in management.

In South Africa, approximately 70% of the workforce is unionised

Implats Sustainable Development Report 2009