Social report

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Learning and development

In the past year Reunert has invested R1,1 million towards learning and development. The number of employees trained was:

Occupational level   2010   2009  
Managers   84   129  
Professionals   183   481  
Technicians and associated professionals   768   318  
Clerks   156   551  
Services and sales   82   432  
Skilled workers   377   60  
Plant operators   439   112  
Elementary occupations   226   84  
Apprentices/trainees   25   72  
Total number of employees trained:   2 340   2 239  

A variety of training and development interventions are in place such as e-learning, on-the-job-training, as well as more traditional methods that are provided at training centres and through external service providers. On average, 60% of all training and development spent in 2010 was to the advantage of blacks.

In 2011 more emphasis will be placed on providing e-learning through interactive programmes to provide faster, efficient and more cost-effective training. It is particularly companies with a wide reaching footprint across South Africa that will benefit from this initiative.

During 2010 an investment was made in introducing appropriate assessment instruments in all our companies, enabling us to identify employees with appropriate skills for a particular position.

This methodology identifies development needs of employees to assist them reaching their full potential and to achieve career goals aligned with the interests of the business. This will ensure a talent pipeline which will provide the required skills and quality of managers and specialists to enable the company to meet its strategic objectives.

All our companies have skills development plans in place and resources are focused on the development of leadership, management and technical skills.

Freedom of association and collective bargaining

Reunert respects the right of employees to be members of a trade union. At CBI-electric, collective bargaining takes place at industry level, which is a requirement in terms of the relevant labour legislation. Approximately 60% of employees at CBI-electric have trade union representation, with the National Union of Metal Workers South Africa being the largest.

Memberships of trade unions are not significant in the rest of the group. In areas where industry-based collective bargaining arrangements are not in place, collective bargaining takes place at enterprise level if trade unions enjoy significant representation as determined by South African labour legislation.

Health and safety

Each of our businesses has processes in place to manage health and safety, and to minimise the risk of incidences occurring. During the year, the group recorded 176 minor industrial injuries and the man-days lost through injury were 266 days. No serious injuries were recorded.

There were no work-related fatalities in Reunert this year.

Alexander Forbes Risks Services conducts annual risk improvement surveys at all companies in the group. These assessments include occupational health and safety standards and areas of non-conformance are highlighted for further action. The group achieved an 85% overall average.

Corporate social investment

To ensure that the maximum impact is made through corporate social investment (CSI) spent; Reunert has issued a guideline to group companies to invest mainly in education and training for the benefit of previously disadvantaged individuals in South Africa.

In addition, many of our companies are involved in the social upliftment of communities where they operate and as such they invest in other areas such as HIV/Aids prevention, providing food and shelter to the homeless and the support of needy children. During 2010, 91% of all Reunert’s CSI spend in South Africa was for the exclusive benefit of previously disadvantaged communities and amounted to R6,4 million.

Reunert College

The most significant investment in Reunert has remained its focus on the Reunert College, which has campuses at Alrode and Boksburg. Since 1993 Reunert has invested R30 million into the training of young, mostly black school children.

As part of an integrated community upliftment programme, the College provides bridging education in English, mathematics, accounting and science to learners who have already completed their matric at a township school.

The aim of the model is to improve matriculation results and to provide lifeskills and coaching to the participants. The best students in any particular year are granted bursaries assisting them to complete their studies at tertiary institutions. To date some 900 students have participated in the bridging course with about 500 individual bursaries granted over this period.

In a quest to optimise the learning model, Reunert has attracted a number of partner sponsors who also participate in the funding of additional students. The students and communities have benefited from collaboration of the Zenex Foundation, Standard Bank and the JSE.

On completion of tertiary education, students are assessed through the Reunert assessment programme, and the results are matched against the job profiles of vacancies. In this manner, we believe that the success of the programme will be enhanced even further.

Black economic empowerment

All companies in Reunert comply with the provisions of the Employment Equity Act, i.e. plans are in place aimed at ensuring that the Reunert workforce becomes more representative of the demographics of South Africa over a period of time. Regrettably, the education system in South Africa has not lived up to expectations, which is why the Reunert College is not only a beacon of hope but also a strategic necessity to ensure that those who are not yet benefiting from the underperforming education system, will receive the opportunity to make progress in the economy.

Reunert has entered into a transaction in 2007 with Peotona and the Rebotona Trust in which 9% of Reunert’s shares were allocated as BEE shares and has resulted in the effective BEE shareholding in Reunert being 23%. This target percentage will be re-evaluated in terms of the codes issued pursuant to the BBBEE Act in the near future (annual evaluation takes place).

During 2010 further transactions were entered into in two of the Reunert subsidiaries which were necessitated either because of tender requirements and/or BEE requirements of government departments and/or parastatals that are currently not in line with the provisions of the BBBEE legislation. It is not certain what the impact of these transactions will be on Reunert’s overall effective BEE equity percentage.

The trading operations in the group engage actively with rating agencies, to establish their ratings as BEE participants, in particular with a view to improving their credentials for the purpose of successfully tendering for parastatal or government business. The ratings achieved vary between level 1 and level 6 contributors and it is expected that all the ratings will further improve during the course of 2011.

During the year CBI-electric: African Cables obtained its level 3 BBBEE accreditation and Nashua Mobile its level 3 BEE status, which together with its value-adding status makes it a level 1 contributor.

Enterprise development

The total amount spent towards outsourcing, sub-contracting purchases from empowerment supplies and small, medium and micro-enterprise (SMME) development amounted to R474 million.

Purchases from empowerment suppliers   335  
Value of outsourcing contracts   124  
Value of sub-contracting   6  
SMME development   6  
Other   3  
Total   474  
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