Why employees are material to Pan African Resources
Our people are fundamental to the sustainability of our business and long-term value creation in addition to being key enablers in the execution of our strategy. Our employees are key to our business success, which makes it imperative that they are part of an organisational culture that priorities safety, diversity, innovation and performance.
We believe that our people have the right to work in a safe and healthy environment. Mining operations present many risks to our people’s health and safety and we will continue to work towards an environment of zero harm.
Our employment policies and procedures are guided by and comply with labour legislation in South Africa. We review our human resources policies and procedures on an ongoing basis.
Our recruitment strategies are designed to focus on local communities in the areas in which we operate. We recruit employees outside of these areas only when the requisite skills or experience are not available locally.
We respect human rights and value equality and diversity. Pan African Resources does not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment and we foster a work environment free from discrimination against gender, age, race, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, disability or any other personal characteristics protected by applicable law. No human rights-related grievances or proven incidents of discrimination were filed during the current financial year. Human rights are specifically addressed by our human rights policy which focuses on the human rights of our employees, people in the communities and in our supply chain.
Pan African Resources abides by the human rights conventions of the International Labour Organisation and South Africa’s Constitution. The leadership of each operation, as well as the group executive committee, report to the board in this regard. In the 2019 financial year, no operations or suppliers were found to be exposed to the risk of incidents relating to child, forced or compulsory labour.
Our employees and contractors have the right to freedom of association. Barberton Mines has recognition agreements in place with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the United Association of South Africa (UASA). NUM represents approximately 83% of the bargaining unit employees and UASA represents approximately 51% of officials, artisans and miners. Evander Mines employees currently do not belong to a union.
In terms of mining regulations, each operation has developed an SLP that must be approved by the DMR. During 2019, Barberton Mines submitted its SLP for the next 5 years to the DMR and is awaiting its approval. Evander Mines is currently in the process of revising its SLP in line with its reduced operational size, following the cessation of underground operations in the prior
The group’s total staff compliment has declined to 3,641 people (2018: 4,840). The decline is attributable to the reduced number of contractors at our operations following the commissioning of Elikhulu in September 2018 and the cessation of large-scale underground operations at Evander Mines. The group’s staff turnover was 10.6% (2018: 8.6%) excluding retrenched employees demonstrating the stability of the group’s workforce. The employee relations environment has been stable over the past financial year with no authorised industrial action experienced at our operations.
Employment Diversity and Gender Equity
Pan African Resources promotes employment diversity and gender equality. We respect people from diverse backgrounds and promote a culture in which our employees feel valued, which, in turn, encourages our employees to contribute to the growth and sustainability of our company.
Pan African Resources acknowledges that delivering and contributing to genuine transformation is critical for the sustainability of our business, the communities in which we operate, and the country as a whole. We are committed to integrating real transformation throughout the group, as guided by the MPRDA, the Mining Charters and our SLPs.
The board has set the following target for its non-executive director representation:
After year-end, we further strengthened the Pan African Resources board with the appointment of two new independent non-executive directors. We welcome Yvonne Themba and Charles Needham to the board. Yvonne Themba’s appointment improves our board gender and employment equity representation for the 2020 financial year. Subsequent to the appointment of the two new directors, our board comprises seven directors, of which two are female (29%) and three are HDSAs (43%).
Permanently employed females have marginally increased to 10.4% (2018: 9.7%).
Recent Mining Charter Developments
Mining Charter III seeks to strike a balance between improving transformation and ensuring the industry’s viability in a volatile environment. Regarding ownership, it differentiates between new and existing mining rights holders.
Existing rights holders can continue to have 26% black ownership for the duration of their rights, although increased HDSA ownership is required for licence renewals and transfers. These rights remain applicable even if a HDP shareholder withdraws its stake, which is often a contentious point following the industry’s legal battle over the ‘once empowered, always empowered’ principle.
Companies that applied for mining rights before the introduction of the 2018 Mining Charter require 26% black ownership and have five years to increase that percentage to 30%.
Following the successful restructuring agreements concluded in the prior year, Pan African Resources’ HDP ownership is calculated at 26%, comprising 21% in Pan African Resources SA Holdings Proprietary Limited and 5% from its on-mine employee ownership schemes. Refer to our website for our company structure. www.panafricanresources.com/about-overview/company-structure
Skills development and Training
Pan African Resources believes that ongoing and effective talent development is essential for its continued competitiveness, transformation and sustainable growth. Our skills development and training focuses on investing in our employees to ensure that we have the necessary skills to meet our strategic objectives and operational needs.
We deliver these skills through a combination of learnerships, bursaries, artisan training, Adult Basic Education and Training and other skills transfer initiatives provided to individuals in the appropriate demographic groups as defined in the amended Mining Charter III. The group spent US$1.0 million (2018: US$1.8 million) on human resources and development during the year. The spending decline results from lower employee numbers.
Anti-corruption and Anti-bribery
Pan African Resources has a zero-tolerance policy for bribery and corruption by employees, officers, directors, consultants or contractors, with even the appearance of impropriety deemed unacceptable.
We conduct internal audits of all of our business units and have robust internal financial controls and processes in place.
During the year ahead, we will align our training and talent management systems to include a greater focus on human capital development to ensure that Pan African Resources’ employees and managers are able to progress their careers within the group.
We will continue to review our human resource policies to ensure that they are aligned to prevailing legislation and regulations.