SepHold recognises the role of all stakeholders and the responsibility of the group towards those individuals or communities that are affected by Sephaku Cement and Métier’s operational activities. The group regularly engages with groups that can potentially have an impact on the business.
The group promotes and supports effective stakeholder engagement, and is committed to developing mutually beneficial relationships. Our high-level objectives for stakeholder engagement are to:
- increase investor confidence in the group’s strategy and our ability to deliver on it to create sustainable value:
- by ensuring complete, accurate and timely disclosure of material matters and performance information to providers of financial capital;
- promoting enterprise and supplier development initiatives in the communities in which we operate; and
- supporting skills development opportunities, mainly for historically disadvantaged youth;
- position the group as an employer of choice and ensure that all employees are appropriately rewarded, and treated fairly and with dignity at all times; and
- establish robust and mutually beneficial relationships with customers, suppliers and contractors, through open communication to better understand and effectively deliver on their expectations.
SepHold actively evaluates the group’s engagement programmes and encourages a deliberate, consistent and systematic approach to stakeholder engagement. The group’s success requires the cooperation and support of all its stakeholders. Therefore, it is critically important that stakeholders have trust and confidence in the group.
Métier’s leadership team’s key focus in the medium term is on strengthening operating procedures to facilitate effective and efficient ways to sustain its market share and positioning. Being aware that any business is as successful as the people who drive it, the executive committee continues to assess the organisational structure to ensure that the right people are employed in the right functions.
In line with its high-performance culture, Métier ensures its employees are afforded opportunities for growth and skills development through strategically aligned training and development programmes. This includes individual performance development discussions and internal training. The interventions ensure that employees operate at the expected optimal level.
Métier retains its key employees by focusing on retention and career planning that emphasises personal growth and leadership development. To ensure that it has the necessary skills required to support growth, Métier has put a review process in place that facilitates performance discussions to identify employees’ training requirements bi-annually. In this regard, Métier continues to partner with accredited training providers in specialised fields for employees that have been targeted for development and promotion.
In the past few years, Métier has contributed funds and/or its products to various projects within the greater KwaZulu-Natal area. The needs that of many South African communities present daunting challenges and, to this end, the company’s initiatives have been aimed at achieving and sustaining positive social development and upliftment of the communities it operates in. Métier realises that the biggest contribution it can make in breaking the poverty cycle is to invest in the education and support of our nation’s children. In response to the communities’ needs, Métier has demonstrated commitment through relevant and sustainable community engagement activities with a focus on educational initiatives and early development projects. The company’s charitable donations have been aimed at building schools, crèches and orphan villages.
Sephaku Cement (CEMENT) has adopted a policy that is aligned with international best practice in relation to resettlement and compensation. By working in partnership with communities, CEMENT understands the potential impact its operations may have on adjacent communities, and how to manage the related risks. This strategy is supported by a number of management systems dealing with impact assessment, community engagement processes and social investment. The main objective for engagement is to develop a mutually beneficial relationship that will enable CEMENT to appropriately deliver on the community expectations while achieving its strategic objectives. The two main community expectations identified are employment opportunities and support for enterprise development initiatives.
CEMENT has made significant progress in dealing with these expectations through its skills training and enterprise development programmes. The company has provided bursaries and artisan internships to local individuals in professions that include chemical engineering, chemistry and information technology. CEMENT also has a programme to empower black women by providing career development initiatives to accelerate their growth within the company. Furthermore, the company sponsors additional classes in mathematics and science at Tswelelopele High School located in the local municipality of Itsoseng.
Enterprise and Supplier development programme
CEMENT has identified job creation and the development of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) as important factors in the sustainability of the local economy and community development strategy. To this end, CEMENT has developed the Enterprise and Supplier Development programme aimed at mentoring emerging enterprises located in areas it operates in. CEMENT provides business opportunities and training to SMMEs through financial and logistical management support. The programme encompasses entrepreneurship development initiatives that range from the registration of the enterprises to basic business management skills through training, mentoring and coaching. Through this programme, community members effectively create jobs by establishing SMMEs, thereby contributing to the empowerment and alleviation of poverty.
Selected beneficiaries are supported through grants, early payment of invoices within 15 to 20 days, and access to funding. To enhance the sustainability of the Enterprise and Supplier Development Programme transport beneficiaries, CEMENT recently awarded long-term logistics contracts to supply raw materials transportation services. Seven of the beneficiaries are from Lichtenburg and five from Delmas; each was selected based on their capacity and ability to carry out the task. These trucking opportunities have an estimated combined annual revenue of between R80 million and R100 million, translating to approximately R430 million over a five-year period.
At CEMENT, all levels of employees are committed to translate strategy into measurable outcomes. CEMENT facilitates continuous performance improvement for employees through transparent communication and feedback. CEMENT’s executive management recognises the need to engage with the employees at all levels and has adopted the Sephaku Communication Meeting forums (SEPCOMS) as a platform to discuss the operational, human and structural issues in a focused manner in order to enhance the execution of strategic objectives. It is through this approach that CEMENT management discusses the right things with the right people, at the right time, frequently enough to achieve sustainable business excellence.
This methodology has proven to improve business performance through promoting operational and service excellence. CEMENT also recognises the importance of linking employee health and wellness to company needs and strategic priorities. Therefore, all employees have to be on a medical aid scheme, and the operational sites have clinics that support employees with occupational health requirements. Employees are encouraged to do medical health assessment annually, especially during CEMENT’s wellness days.
This extensive employee engagement enhances CEMENT’s ability to attract the requisite skills to sustain the value creation process. The company’s expenditure targets for training and development over the next four years are approximately 3% of the annual payroll. CEMENT’s skills development programme includes learnerships, internships and mentorships. The company has implemented portable skills training for workplace qualifications such as mobile operating, and engineering skills. These skills and qualifications are complemented by bursary schemes to support talented individuals with their tertiary studies.
CEMENT remains committed to both retaining employees with critical skills, and to effectively managing talent. To this end, the long-term retention scheme is fully implemented to secure the skills of targeted employees. Learning interventions, including on-the-job training, classroom training and seminars are regularly performed. To build a succession pipeline, employees are chosen for critical positions, and enrolled in management development programmes.
SEPCEM CASE STUDIES
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