Sustainability report


Coaching and mentorship

The Reunert Coaching and Mentorship Programme was introduced in 2003 to enable staff to benefit from the structured coaching from experienced employees.

The programme is aimed at the retention and development of high-performing staff – particularly from previously disadvantaged communities. The programme assists in integrating new employees and is instrumental in the development and promotion of existing employees. To date, 363 staff has participated in the programme, of which a significant number has attended follow-up sessions.

The Reunert Core Coaches initiative was launched in 2008, producing 31 coaches, who have been deployed in a number of Reunert companies. They were trained to qualify to a stage one international qualification. This programme is enabling the group to accelerate the mentoring and coaching programme and will also ensure that regular follow-up takes place. As part of a scientific and integrated approach, both mentors and protégés attend an initial training programme which provides the framework for future career and personal development. Not only does the programme assist employees to focus on career goals, but also to understand themselves and their relationships with others. This process causes employees to become more effective in the business environment simultaneously assisting them to improve the enjoyment of their personal lives.

As many of the staff members are being developed in terms of BEE programmes, significant emphasis is given to the understanding of business norms including the correlation between output and remuneration. Staff achievement of those who attended the programme continues to be most encouraging.

Other training activities

During 2009, all Reunert companies submitted their training reports and workplace skills plans to the relevant sector education and training authorities.

Training courses conducted during the review period spanned the following levels in the group:

Occupational level   Total trained  
Managers   129  
Professionals   481  
Technicians and associated professionals   318  
Clerks   551  
Services and sales   432  
Skilled workers   60  
Plant operators   112  
Elementary occupations   72  
Apprentices/trainees   84  
Total number of employees trained: 2009   2 239  

Telecom Cables continued with their rejuvenation and upskilling programme which commenced in 2006 at their Brits plant. Since then, a number of well-educated, but unemployed, black youths were employed as operators. These individuals are earmarked for development and promotion into technical, managerial and administrative positions. At least 150 of these operators were, since the programme started, enrolled in specific training courses to give effect to the company’s strategy. At least 14 operators were promoted in 2009 and are enrolled for further tertiary studies through the company’s education assistance programme. As part of the company’s ongoing assessment programme, 25 employees who are currently employed as part of the rejuvenation programme, are being trained and developed as junior, middle and ultimately senior managers.

In conjunction with the company’s recognised trade union, the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa, a pool of 80 previously unemployed youths was trained to participate in a flexible employment practice programme. These youths are deployed from time to time to assist when production peaks occur. It is anticipated that this pool of trained individuals could in future be considered for permanent employment once an upswing in the economy occurs.

Three black graduate engineers completed a two-year internship with CBI-electric: low voltage this year and were offered permanent positions within the commercial division. One of the employees holds an MSc in Electrical Engineering and the other two BSc Electrical Engineering qualifications.

RRS is a major contributor to the University of Stellenbosch’s Sunstep initiative. The Sunstep programme provides equipment and training to 25 science educators in 25 new schools over a three-day period on an annual basis. Since inception, an estimated 9 000 learners across all nine provinces were reached through this project. The course focuses on the assembling and understanding of electronic kits, soldering skills and preparing science teachers to understand the electronics module that was added to the new Science curriculum in the country. Teachers are also taught how to set up their own test and exam papers by using the material provided by Sunstep. In addition, the educators are taught how to set up circuits by using crocodile clips. Commencing in 2009, the educators are able to order electronic kits and to independently conduct workshops with learners as well as to transfer skills and knowledge to the learners. The company has contributed R153 000 to this project since inception.

RRS strongly supports the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP) which support research and technology development as an initiative to stimulate South African industry. This brings together the best of South African researchers, academics and industry leaders in funding partnerships that enable participants to improve the quality of their products, services and people.

RRS supports an initiative undertaken by the University of Stellenbosch engineering faculty to address the critical shortage of engineers that hail from previously disadvantaged communities. During 2009 the university identified 45 grade 12 students with an average score of 70% in Mathematics and Science. RRS sponsored a workshop for these students and their parents during which they were exposed to the various engineering disciplines. The result of this intervention is that 14 of the 45 students have applied to study engineering at Stellenbosch University.

The rapid expansion of Nashua Mobile’s distribution system has necessitated the introduction of a fast, high-quality and standardised training system to ensure that customer service is maintained at the highest possible level. The company has successfully introduced the learning management system which will standardise training activities throughout the distribution system. The system is expected to improve the company’s ability to market its products and services, to speed up training delivery and to enable real-time assessment of improvements achieved. In addition, it will enable the company to reduce the training time required for new entrants and to simplify the training process throughout the Nashua Mobile group. The company has introduced a structured management development programme and career pathing for its entire staff, which will assist in attracting and retaining key skills.

In addition to bursaries granted by the Reunert College, many Reunert companies have their own established bursary schemes, for both employees’ children and disadvantaged youths.

Telecom Cables provided 56 bursaries for the children of employees from previously disadvantaged communities during 2009. A number of former bursars are currently employed by the company.

CBI-electric: african cables has offered a bursary scheme for employees since 1982. Since inception 330 bursaries have been awarded and in the 2009 academic year, 95% of the available bursaries were awarded to previously disadvantaged individuals. In 2009, 26 bursaries to the children of employees were awarded with a total value of R341 000.