People review


  • Eight of 17 sites in South Africa and five of seven international sites recorded a zero lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR)
  • Nine PPC sites exceeded one million lost- time injury-free hours
  • Nine sites or business units have over three years without a lost-time injury (LTI)
  • Pronto (11 sites), 3Q Mahuma (17 sites) and Safika (five sites) now included in PPC group safety and health programme
  • Project Msasa in Harare successfully commissioned with zero LTIs over construction period of 22 months
  • New employee safety engagement programme introduced
  • Significant reduction in malaria prevalence maintained at DRC project site and adjacent villages since introducing comprehensive prevention programme in FY2016

  • One fatality at 3Q Mahuma Rustenburg and 31 LTIs in 2017, up significantly from prior years
  • Challenges with speed of entrenching safety and health standards at new subsidiaries and start-up operations
  • Safety performance at some established PPC South African operations did not improve during the year. A safety initiative, known as Snakes and Hazards, is being implemented to address this

PPC health and safety policy

(revised March 2017)

PPC is committed to protecting the occupational health and safety of employees, contractors and visitors in the workplace and, where appropriate, other stakeholders. The PPC group demonstrates this commitment through its occupational health and safety management system that is entrenched in all organisational activities and conforms to recognised occupational and railway health and safety standards, and legal frameworks.

PPC will establish clear accountability for leading occupational health and safety standards in the company and although legal compliance is the foundation of the PPC health and safety management system. It will also monitor emerging issues, technological innovations and stakeholder interests to ensure effective and sustainable solutions to health and safety challenges. Accordingly, the health and safety policy will be reviewed and revised periodically.

To achieve best-in-class occupational health and safety performance, PPC is committed to:

  •  Building through engagement and empowerment, a proactive, high-reliability health and safety culture at individual, leadership and organisational levels
  •  Providing the necessary resources and implementing formal systems and structures to ensure an effective health and safety management system for the group to achieve related objectives
  •  Maintaining a specialised health and safety function for an informed view of associated risks from business activities
  •  Continuously identifying and controlling occupational health and safety risks to eliminate or minimise related hazards in the workplace and, where appropriate, neighbouring communities 
  •  Establishing meaningful metrics to monitor our health and safety performance, and using these to set goals for continual improvement
  •  Reporting and investigating health and safety incidents and actively sharing best practices and learnings
  •  Educating, training and developing employees and other stakeholders, where appropriate, to ensure each person is able to act in a way conducive to health and safety
  •  Maintaining open and transparent relations with all our stakeholders on occupational health and safety matters
  •  Actively involving employee representatives in managing health and safety

It is the responsibility of PPC’s leaders to ensure this policy is understood, effectively communicated and implemented throughout the group. All employees are responsible for understanding the impacts of this policy on their day-to-day work practices and are expected to apply and support these principles.

Supporting PPC’s international expansion strategy, the latest revision of the health and safety policy ensures further alignment with the requirements of the World Bank, in-country legislation and recognises the extent of railway-related activities (South Africa only) on PPC sites while facilitating appropriate accountability for safety at all levels in the organisation.

Safety performance

PPC prides itself on excellent safety systems and has made considerable progress in recent years, but reported a mixed safety performance

in the review period. While we recorded one fatality compared to two in the prior period, no fatalities are acceptable. The disappointing increase in LTIs to 31 is receiving urgent management attention.

We use management control as the guiding principle to determine whether safety statistics are reported in PPC group figures or separately:

  • Where PPC has a majority share in the business, it completes a financial consolidation and therefore has effective management control. Safety statistics are included in group data
  • Where PPC does not consolidate the financials (ie does not have majority shareholding) or have effective management control, statistics are reported separately

Under this definition:

  • Safika (95%), Pronto and 3Q Mahuma (100%) health and safety statistics are included
  •  Habesha (38%) is excluded and has been reported separately from PPC group statistics

PPC sadly reports one fatality at its 3Q Mahuma Rustenburg operation (North West province) in the period, when an employee fell off a concrete truck on 27 January 2017 and died from secondary complications in hospital on 13 March 2017. Our deepest condolences go to his family, colleagues and friends. PPC affirms its commitment to the health and safety of all its team members and other stakeholders. These incidents (fatalities and lost-time injuries) strengthen our resolve to continuously improve our safety performance. As with all other significant incidents, full investigations are conducted and corrective steps and learnings are implemented throughout the group.

Group safety statistics
For comparison, all statistics below are based on a rolling 12 months except for the six months to March 2016 which was the change-over period to the new financial year.

Safika and
6 months 
to March 
  Actual September
  Actual September
  Actual September
  Actual September
Fatalities     0     2   0   0   1  
FFR1 per 200 000 hours worked   0,01    0   0,05    0,02   0   0   0,02  
Number of LTIs None set    31    21   103   20   18   16   18  
LTIFR per 200 000 hours worked
(12-month window)
  0,324     0,37      0,28     0,24      0,24     0,24     0,25     0,28  
Days lost to LTIs None set    599    440   239    511   804   663   1 060  
Significant administrative notices2 (number) None set      4     6   4   2   9  

1 Fatality frequency rate
2 Section 54 (Department of Mineral Resources – South Africa only).
3 32 incidents resulted in 31 LTIs and one fatality.
4 2018 target includes Safika, Pronto, 3Q, DRC, CIMERWA and Harare factory.
5 Assurance scope includes all SA PPC sites, Pronto, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

This is the first 12-month reporting period after changing to our new financial year-end and, as such, direct comparison with the previous reporting period of six months does not provide useful trends. The addition of new businesses to the group also complicates direct comparisons with prior years.

Although the group lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) was stable over the previous five reporting periods, we recorded a 55% rise in lost-time injuries (LTIs) in FY2017.

This largely reflects the increased number of contractors, projects and start-up businesses, which also contributed to a higher risk profile for PPC. Of concern is the on-boarding process of new subsidiaries and conversion from a project into first year of operation for CIMERWA, as it seems the time required to establish health and safety programmes in these operations was underestimated. To illustrate, the table above shows that over 30% of group LTIs were recorded at Pronto, Safika and 3Q but these operations represent less than 10% of total hours worked for the group.

The severity of incidents, reflected partially in days lost to LTIs, increased marginally from previous years and indicates that LTIs generally are not leading to long-term health impacts.

PPC uses a structured incident analysis tool for all significant incidents. Root causes are comprehensively assessed across people, the environment, equipment/tools/material, procedures/standards and organisational factors. Action plans and lessons are shared to eliminate similar incidents group-wide.

Analysis of energy sources
In reviewing LTIs (table below), there seems to be a poor understanding of energy sources and the dangers they pose, particularly mechanical energy. This, coupled with a lack of mindfulness, is probably a major contributing factor in the incidents we have recorded. After assessing root causes and potential solutions, we developed the snakes and hazards programme (a new risk assessment and treatment initiative built around commonly understood hazards and risks using the characteristics of snakes (see page 108).

The breakdown of incidents by energy source below confirms that mechanical energy is a significant issue.

LTI and fatality energy sources

  Energy source Number  
  Mechanical energy such as injuries/fatalities caused by slips, trips, fall from height, lifting, caught between, falling objects 29  
  Electrical energy such as injuries/fatalities caused by electrical shock 1  
  Chemical energy such as injuries/fatalities caused by all chemical substances 1  
  Radiation energy such as injuries/fatalities caused by radioactive material 0  
  Thermal energy such as injuries/fatalities caused by hot material or surfaces 1  
Group statistics by region

The group recorded 32 serious incidents, including the noted fatality, in the review period: 18 were PPC employees and 14 were contractors.

Group statistics by region/operation

Number 12 months 
to March 
  6 months 
to March 
  12 months
to September
  12 months
to September
Total 325   121   18    19  
Operational LTIs and fatalities 28      14    16  
Project LTIs and fatalities       3  
PPC employees injured and fatality 18      10    14  
PPC contractors injured 14        5  
SA operations’ LTIs and fatality 27      11    15  
International holdings’ LTIs       4  
Established sites2 LTIs 14      na4   na  
New sites3 LTIs and fatality 18      na    na  

1 One fatality and 11 LTIs.
2 Established sites include: Dwaalboom, De Hoek, Jupiter, Hercules and Beestekraal, Slurry, Riebeeck, Port Elizabeth, Mount Steward, Grassridge, Lime Acres, Saldanha, Montague Gardens, Sales and Marketing, Sandton, Group Laboratory Operations, Aggregates SA (Mooiplaas and Laezonia), George, Colleen Bawn, Bulawayo, Aggregates Botswana, Botswana depot.
3 New sites include: SK9 project, Pronto, 3Q Mahuma, Safika, Harare factory (Zimbabwe), CIMERWA (Rwanda), DRC factory (DRC).
4 Meaningful comparisons with current year not possible.
5 One fatality and 31 LTIs.
6 Assurance scope includes all SA PPC sites, Pronto, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Cement SA

(includes Safika and SA projects but excludes Pronto, 3Q and Lime which are part of the PPC materials business)

Cement SA recorded 19 LTIs in the period.

International holdings

International holdings recorded five LTIs in the period, as follows:

  • PPC DRC Barnet recorded one LTI
  • CIMERWA factory in Rwanda recorded four LTIs
  • Botswana depot and Zimbabwe (Colleen Bawn, Bulawayo and Harare factories) all recorded an excellent safety performance with zero LTIs


(includes Aggregates SA and Botswana, Lime Acres, Pronto, Ulula and 3Q Mahuma)

Materials recorded a poor year-on-year safety, especially at Lime and 3Q. Of the seven LTIs, three each occurred at 3Q and Lime Acres, with one at Ulula’s Kriel plant. There was one fatality at 3Q Rustenburg plant.

Project Habesha – Ethiopia

The Habesha project recorded no LTIs in the period. PPC and Habesha management have agreed to cooperate in establishing acceptable safety standards at the project. PPC assists Habesha where necessary with all health and safety matters and strives to implement standards similar to those in other PPC international operations.

Focus areas for 2018

Focus areas for the coming year have been developed to address our changed risk profile. The target for 2018 includes all these operations, recognises that safety interventions take time to produce significant results and underscores our commitment to succeed in the short term. We note that in comparing new sites and established sites against past years, readers should consider project phasing and acquisitions in each year.

The increase in injuries reflects the start of construction activities at our SK9 project, where there were three LTIs, as well as seven between our new subsidiaries, Pronto, Safika and 3Q. The operational readiness process followed for projects Barnet and Msasa paid dividends, with zero injuries recorded during their commissioning phases.

Of concern is the high number of LTIs (14) recorded at established PPC operations during the year. PPC has reviewed these incidents and developed initiatives at group and site level to improve safety performance. The increase in the number of contractors injured means we will need to review and improve contractor management practices at both our projects and normal operations.

Group visits by authorities
PPC recognises the important roles played by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and Department of Labour (DOL) in South Africa to improve safety and health at our sites. We continue to support officials in this work. We also look forward to jointly strengthening cooperation and the legal framework in all our international operations.

Authority visits

  12 months
to March
  6 months
to March
  12 months
to September
  12 months
to September
Number of visits 34   13   28   48
Section 54 (SA – work stoppage) 4   3   4   2
Section 55 (SA – notice to rectify) 7   0   16   2
Other (non-SA) 0   0   2   7

During the period, PPC had 34 visits by authorities. Two of the four administrative notices (DMR – section 54) served followed LTIs at Slurry (factory and SK9 project), while the other two were for infringements at Dwaalboom relating to a trackless mobile machinery operator licence and proximity detection system.

PPC also received seven notices (section 55) from the DMR on health and safety issues, including:

  • One visit by DOL to Ulula Ash (Kriel) after an LTI, but no instructions were issued
  • One visit from the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) to 3Q Brits, which was instructed to present a plan to improve stormwater management, dust suppression, bunding aggregate stockpiles and erecting a berm to contain dirty water
  • There were no visits from authorities in other countries in the review period

PPC is focused on aligning its operations with regulatory requirements.

Occupational health

All contractors and employees undergo health and safety induction before starting work.

In addition to entry, annual and exit medical examinations for all PPC employees and contractors, we conduct extensive pre-deployment health evaluations for expatriate workers (including all employees and contractors travelling for international assignments). These include medical assessments, fitness to work and/or travel, individual travel health assessments, vaccination requirements and malaria prophylaxis.

All legal health and medical reporting requirements of the DMR or DOL, as applicable, have been met. In addition, under the mining charter scorecard, PPC reports on HIV/Aids and tuberculosis programmes run by clinics at group operations. Reported prevalence is low in South African operations for both diseases, with fewer than 60 and 30 confirmed cases respectively across all sites. No cases of silicosis were reported in the period, maintaining the trend of the past 10 years and incidence remains extremely low in PPC. Robust recording standards for these conditions are still being implemented in certain operations outside South Africa.

PPC conducts occupational hygiene surveys (lighting, noise, dust, ergonomics, heat, vibration, ventilation) at all established operations. Where issues are identified, these are rectified with advice from occupational hygiene and medical personnel. Occupational hygiene surveys will be introduced at new operations and subsidiaries as required based on the relevant occupational health risk assessment.

In 2016, we implemented a malaria control programme at our DRC project site. We are also working with the government of Rwanda (CIMERWA factory) to control malaria through initiatives such as malaria awareness induction, insect repellent, issuing malaria test kits and extensive malaria vector spraying at construction and accommodation sites and adjacent villages. We are pleased to report that a significant reduction in malaria prevalence in these areas is being maintained.

PPC is active in Chamber of Mines’ structures to obtain information and add value on complying with various elements of the mining charter. The related scorecard for all South African mining sites was completed and submitted to the relevant regional offices of the DMR in March 2017.

All PPC South African manufacturing sites remain certified under the OHSAS 18001 standard.


PPC’s strategy to grow its business entails expanding existing operations; constructing, commissioning (both greenfield and brownfield) projects, operating new sites and diversifying into a number of other materials and services businesses. The safety and health risk profile of each of these initiatives differs vastly and although PPC is guided by its overall health and safety policy, implementation methods and processes need to consider in-country dynamics.

At present, operations in DRC and Zimbabwe are ramping up production, construction is complete and commissioning of SK9 project scheduled for early in calendar 2018. We also added 3Q Mahuma as a subsidiary. The challenges of building and maintaining robust safety and health systems are therefore significant. Simultaneously, we recognise that we need to strengthen the base in our established operations.

Focus areas for 2018

Why we do it

PPC passionately cares for the health and safety of all its people across all operations. We are sincere about making a difference to ensure all our people get home healthy and safe each day. As such, PPC is striving to create a culture of zero harm and become more resilient.

How we do it

  • Leadership commitment through mindful leadership engagements on health and safety at all levels in the group
  • Investing in people by ensuring we have the right people with the right training and education. This includes resources dedicated to managing health and safety across all operations
  • Investing in health and safety systems to proactively manage health and safety to become more resilient
  • Ensuring physical environment such as infrastructure, equipment, structures and tools are fit for purpose and properly maintained
  • Legal compliance with all in-country health and safety legislation

What we do
PPC has established health and safety systems that include risk assessments, thorough incident investigations based on the serious incident analysis technique, regular inspections, observations and audits (internal and external as well as legal compliance audits) and reporting.

We appreciate that our operations are constantly changing and we need to be able to adapt, as safety is not about the absence of something, but the presence of positive, proactive activities. As a result, PPC has identified a number of initiatives for 2018:

  • Leadership commitment
    Senior executives recognise the critical role of leaders in safety management. Key members of the executive and other senior leaders will undergo mindful leadership coaching to properly lead our snakes and hazards process discussed below.
  • People engagement and empowerment
    In the last quarter, PPC introduced a safety initiative, snakes and hazards, to improve performance. This is essentially a simple form of risk assessment using the characteristics of three snakes to identify hazards in the workplace: puff adder (hidden hazards), python (developing hazards) and cobra (obvious hazards). The power of this programme lies in the universal knowledge that snakes may be dangerous. Using these snakes to firstly identify and then characterise hazards, we provide an excellent foundation for proper discussion and communication (engagement) on the hazards and appropriate actions. We have developed a roll-out plan for the 2019 financial year across all PPC operations and new subsidiaries.

  • SHEQ (safety, health, environment, quality) systems improvement
    Understanding that existing platforms no longer adequately met our requirements as a SHEQ management tool, we initiated a project to acquire a software tool to integrate all safety, health, environment and quality systems. Spearheaded by group IT, much work has already been done to identify and source suitable service providers. Project implementation will start in FY2018, with the new system used for:
    • Integrating SHEQ systems
    • Health and safety reporting – supported by transparent health and safety information, and appropriate access to that information
    • Efficiency and effectiveness of health and safety systems such as inspections, observations, risk assessment, investigations, audits, incident reporting
    • Sharing health and safety learning points
    • Tracking and closing out health and safety actions (corrective and preventive)
  • Engaging new subsidiaries
    Given the poor safety performance of our new subsidiaries (Pronto, Safika and 3Q), safety efforts will be increased considerably. The following actions have been implemented or are under way:
    • Leadership commitment processes
    • Optimised legal appointment structures
    • SHE representative and legal compliance training (up to supervisor level)
    • Appointing SHE representatives at Pronto
    • Initiating safety committee meetings at Pronto and 3Q
  • Commitment for current operations
    For existing established PPC operations, our identified focus areas for safety improvement include:
    • Safety culture surveys
    • Behaviour benchmarking
    • Snakes and hazards, with additional behavioural components piloted at Lime Acres
    • Programme development, training and implementation
    • Renewed focus on mindful leadership visits to improve presence of management on the shopfloor
    • Focus on incident analyses to identify root causes and sharing learning points through the So What incident review process
  • Engaging international operations
    Our operations in DRC and Rwanda are new and require additional support. For DRC, a comprehensive operational readiness plan was developed, with health and safety training identified as a critical issue. Extensive training at worker and supervisor level prior to commissioning has definitely contributed to the solid safety performance during commissioning.

    CIMERWA also requires additional support for health and safety. As a first step, an internal health and safety audit (gap analysis) will be conducted in the first quarter of FY2018. After that, an action plan will be prepared and agreed with the CIMERWA management team.

  • Reinforcing project safety
    For the Zimbabwe (Msasa) and South African projects (SK9), we engage with contractors to establish and implement appropriate health and safety programmes. We also use learning points from previous projects and findings from incident investigations to guide improvement in these programmes. Specific attention is paid to:
    • Training – all contractors complete site-specific induction in their mother tongue (English, Mandarin, etc) before being allowed on site. Job-specific training through accredited third-party companies (rigging/slinging, work at heights, scaffold erectors, trackless mobile machinery operators, etc) and individual competency cards issued to people with specific training
    • Safety structure – appointing project safety team comprising chief plus three safety officers. Given that the main contractors for our current large projects are Chinese, a fourth safety officer who speaks Mandarin has been appointed to the SK9 project site management team
    • Communication – Chinese translators are available to assist with communication, training and translation of documents
    • Safety inspections – daily site safety visits and inspections and third-party inspection of all lifting equipment and tackle to ensure colour coding and legal compliance
    • Risk assessments – continuously reviewing contractor risk assessments and method statements for high-risk activities


  • High success rate of artisans qualifying from our accredited Technical Skills Academy – all employees who wrote their trade test passed
  • Substantive negotiations with unions concluded within mandate and without industrial action
  • Adoption of new leadership framework and competencies aligned to PPC’s vision and strategy, and global best practices
  • Revised talent management strategy and processes after review that highlighted areas of focus to strengthen our talent pipeline
  • Good engagement level with employees, despite business challenges faced in 2016
  • Bursaries split between children of employees and children from our communities

  • Increase in number of high-potential employees from designated employment equity groups left PPC in the last year

Managing our people

As our footprint in South Africa and across the continent expands, so does the importance of harnessing the collective skills of our people. In newly acquired and greenfield operations, we have launched human resource (HR) initiatives to align related services and processes to the needs of those business units and to group strategic plans. These have been phased to ensure sustainable and effective implementation of the group’s HR strategy and initiatives.

In line with PPC’s vision, our HR strategy focuses on aligning our corporate culture and processes to the evolving business landscape and our core values, illustrated below.

Various HR initiatives under the different pillars have been developed and implemented. These include an integrated talent management and dedicated review process to ensure PPC has the talent pipeline to meet current and future business demands, relaunching the performance management approach focused on delivering sustainable results in a high- performance culture and a revised leadership framework with associated skills. We believe a change in culture can only be driven by leadership, hence our current strong focus on leadership alignment and development.

Feedback from the climate survey (page 110), independently managed, indicates that our team members remain positive and committed to PPC and its people philosophies. The HR team continues to focus on being an effective partner to ensure world-class strategies and processes are embedded in the business.

HR strategic priorities

PPC’s strategic aspiration is to “ensure a sustainable competitive excess return for all of our stakeholders”.

Achieving this strategic aspiration requires fundamentally changing our corporate culture

Business success through high performance

For PPC to achieve its objectives, all employees must be aligned to its strategic direction. This is cascaded throughout the group to drive functional, team and individual performance. One of the highlights of the 2016 climate survey was that 90% of participating employees (56% of workforce) confirmed that they understand their performance outputs and how their contribution impacts their department or site. It is critical in a high-performing culture that everyone understands what is expected of them and that they have the means, ability and attitude to positively influence the performance of their department and site.

In the reporting period, we reviewed and updated our performance management principles, policy, process and scorecard to align with best practice and ensure they support the high-performance culture we are entrenching. All employees are being taken through these updates to ensure a common understanding of our approach. Our aim is to embed a culture of ongoing feedback on performance.

Talent reviews and succession management

We continue to focus on ensuring we have talent now and for the future. The goal is to identify, develop and retain highly talented and diverse individuals for a continuous supply of potential successors in key leadership, critical and scarce skills positions. In these reviews, we identify key talented people who will take the business to the next level and address any identified development gaps. The process starts at site level and is consolidated for PPC to inform a group succession plan and heat map. An action plan to close any gaps is then compiled and distributed to the respective sites or business units for implementation.

The group succession planning review is scheduled for May each year and, this year, we will be able to compile a consolidated succession plan for the group. Talent review data indicates the need to fast track the readiness of employees to assume leadership roles and to build a pipeline of successors for critical roles. We are closing identified gaps to ensure we build a pool of talented individuals who will be ready to assume leadership roles in the next one to three years, while developing those who will be ready in future. Given our aim to ensure a group-wide alignment and understanding of HR initiatives, we have introduced sessions to inform line managers and employees on our talent approach, clarify the strategic objective of talent management and how it is being embedded in PPC.

Empowering people

PPC’s relevant, empowered, actualised and lasting (REAL) transformation philosophy is a strong foundation to grow and empower employees. As part of this approach, the second phase of our BBBEE transaction in 2012 increased effective black ownership of PPC’s South African operations to 26%. This transaction supported the conversion of our mining rights, and placed around 7% of the holding company’s ownership with South African employees.

Three years ago, R100 million in shares from the 2008 BEE 1 transaction vested with employees, and the PPC Masakhane Employee Share Trust was created to allow all eligible employees to become shareholders. Since its launch, employee shareholders have received over 26 million shares and more than R23 million in dividends. Since September 2016, we have been working on a new transaction (BEE III), which will be communicated to shareholders in due course.

Employee participation and engagement

PPC has entrenched a culture of engagement based on the belief that positive results are easily achieved when all employees are engaged, empowered, accountable and given the opportunity to participate. Our latest climate survey confirmed that active involvement and communication across PPC is still very effective. We will continue embedding this culture as it assists in increasing engagement levels and ensures the views of our employees are heard.

Frequent involvement and communication processes across PPC include:

CEO town hall sessions
Monthly feedback and engagement sessions focusing on business performance, strategic issues and key focus areas. These sessions are facilitated by the chief executive officer and a recording is distributed throughout PPC. We aim to host at least two town hall sessions at different sites per annum. Employees can post questions or feedback on the PPC intranet.

Lunch-time talks
To keep our people abreast of developments in PPC and our business environment, we host lunch-time talks. Speakers cover topics of interest such as innovation, social licence to operate and personal potential. All sessions are recorded and distributed throughout PPC.

Ask Darryll
Ask Darryll is a portal on the PPC intranet that enables employees to submit questions to the CEO. Answers are posted on the webpage to the benefit all employees.

PPC Conversations
This monthly internal electronic newsletter is distributed to all employees. It features a different executive each month as well as a business update, events showcase, sponsorships, corporate social investment initiatives and interesting information.

Grey Matter
This six-monthly printed magazine complements the electronic newsletter. While PPC Conversations provides news updates, Grey Matter covers a range of topics such as industry developments, country profiles, leadership profiles, fast facts and interesting stories on what PPC employees do in their spare time.

Key leader summits
These regular team meetings at plant and site level are critical to our engaging culture. All appointed, elected and informal leaders participate to keep employees informed about plant, site or business performance, strategic initiatives, challenges and opportunities. These summits enable robust and constructive communication in an environment of mutual trust and cooperation, and the outcomes are communicated clearly and promptly to shop-floor level. Through this process, we maintain a common vision and direction throughout the company.

Invocoms (involvement in communication)
These structured team discussions, with a strong focus on performance and participation, take place at shop-floor level, weekly at sectional supervisory level, and monthly at departmental level. There are around 365 active and effective Invocoms operating across PPC. Through these sessions, we communicate elements of PPC’s vision and objectives, evaluate team performance, analyse obstacles affecting performance, develop appropriate action plans, and ensure targets are achieved. Behavioural safety, educational topics and development are also discussed in these forums.

Climate survey
Two years ago, we implemented a new climate survey approach across PPC to assess the climate across the company and identify areas of improvement. The purpose of the survey is to engage with our employees to find ways to make PPC a great place to work, with a positive organisational climate and to determine the level of improvement and progress made on issues identified in the previous survey.

The level of participation by employees in the 2016 survey was maintained at fair. All nine dimensions scored high, with the least favourable scoring 71% and an overall score of 79,5% (2015: 80%). The dimensions that scored most positive/favourable are clear vision and strategy, committed (engaged) to PPC, and values and code of conduct. A highlight of the 2016 survey is the level of understanding of PPC’s vision and strategy, which moved from position six in 2015 to first in 2016. Despite the challenges faced in the past year, employees are still engaged, reflecting effective communication across the group. The least positive/favourable dimensions are leadership, career development, and remuneration and benefits.

A group action plan to address issues raised and areas for improvement was implemented in April 2017. This includes information sessions to empower line managers and staff. Progress on the action plan will be monitored centrally, while HR managers and site management will ensure appropriate focus at site level.

Housing initiative

The PPC employee housing support scheme was introduced in 2013 to help employees improve their living conditions over the next few years. Most eligible candidates do not qualify for a state-funded RDP house or a mortgage, and fall in the so-called gap market, making it virtually impossible for them to become homeowners without other support.

Initially, 472 South African employees enrolled in the housing programme, with almost half indicating they would like to buy their own home. To date:

  • 78 employees have completed a housing transaction
  • 11 are in the middle of their transaction
  • 10 are in pre-transaction phase – awaiting loan approval or busy with planning and approval of their building project

Over 100 employees encountered credit-worthiness obstacles that prevented them from becoming homeowners. With the assistance of the programme, these employees began a process of debt management to restore their creditworthiness and enable them to become homeowners in time:

  • 34 employees received creditworthiness support that included a combination of debt consolidation, removal of tainted credit records and budget support
  • 74 employees began a savings programme to enhance housing affordability


Our recognition programme is an integrated approach between country/site and group level. The aim is to recognise and motivate employees towards continuous improvement, innovation and a high-performing culture.

At the Diamond Awards ceremony in December 2016, our CEO, members of the executive team and team members from our operations across Africa paid tribute to the people who enabled PPC to raise the bar during the year. There are six categories in the prestigious Diamond Awards: rising talent, customer service excellence (internal and external), sales, production excellence, business support and safety. In addition, we celebrated the outstanding women of PPC with the Woman of the Year award and our managing directors honoured deserving candidates through special recognition awards. The CEO also donated R20 000 to the Frances Vorweg School for learners with cerebral palsy and learning disabilities in support of PPC’s disability awareness campaign. (See page 33 for winners.)

Group workforce analysis

PPC’s total workforce for 2017 is 3 580 (2016: 3 304). This includes our subsidiaries Pronto, Safika and 3Q (506*), our DRC operations (191*), Rwanda operations (248*), Botswana operations (138*) and Zimbabwe operations (428*).

* Not verified by Deloitte for assurance.

Employment equity status (SA operations only)

Our focus areas in 2018 for employment equity are at professional and senior management levels. We have good representation at the skilled, semi-skilled and learner levels.

Occupational levels Male Female Foreign national Total
African  Coloured  Indian  White  Total  African  Coloured  Indian  White  Total  Male  Female  Total 
Top management (CEO) 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
Senior management 4 0 0 15 19 4 1 0 0 5 0 0 0 24 24
Professional 26 19 18 75 138 25 6 2 18 51 2 1 3 189 192
Skilled workers 298 170 3 205 676 122 67 17 75 281 7 4 11 957 968
Semi-skilled 452 143 0 5 600 79 26 3 2 110 0 0 0 710 710
Learners 8 2 0 0 10 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 11 11
Total permanent 788 334 21 301 1 444 231 100 22 95 448 9 5 14 1 892 1 906
Learners 21 13 0 3 37 14 4 0 1 19 1 0 1 56 57
Fixed-term contracts 33 32 1 4 70 24 6 0 5 35 1 0 1 105 106
Total fixed-term contracts 54 45 1 7 107 38 10 0 6 54 2 0 2 161 163
Grand total 842 379 22 308 1 551 269 110 22 101 502 11 5 16 2 053 2 069

Levels as defined by the Employment Equity Act of South Africa.

Expatriates per country

PPC SA permanent employees have been seconded to subsidiaries to replicate and embed the PPC way and transfer skills to localise roles in our international operations.

  Country   Position Years in position
  Rwanda   CEO – CIMERWA Four months
  Rwanda   General manager Seven months
  Rwanda   Engineering manager Two months
  DRC   MD – PPC Barnet DRC Seven months
  DRC   Electrical foreman One year
Workforce demographics

PPC’s workforce is well balanced by age. Young and upcoming talent (under 30) represents 17% of the workforce, while the age group normally associated with greater career stability accounts for 62%. The risk of losing intellectual capital and institutional experience is well managed. Only 22% of our employees are aged 50 and above.

Workforce turnover

The nature and purpose of fixed-term contracts for employees is limited to relief-of-duty and short-term project requirements. These numbers are not a true reflection of avoidable exits, and we have therefore excluded them.

The annual turnover rate (calculated using GRI methods) for 2017 is 7% for South Africa; 6,14% comprises African, coloured or Indian employees and 1,78% female employees. This is one of our key improvement areas for the 2018 financial year: the development and appointment of black employees and especially black women. Turnover was 1% in Zimbabwe and 6% in Botswana operations. The turnover rate for our Rwanda operations was 3% and 4% for DRC operations*. We recorded an overall increase in turnover for the period.

* Not verified by Deloitte for assurance.

Permanent employee turnover for South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe

Age group       Region     Grand
  Botswana     South Africa     Zimbabwe  
Female Male Total Female Male Total Female Male Total
30 to 50 5,88% 8,45% 7,95% 7,52% 6,59% 6,83% 2,17% 0,44% 0,74% 5,86% 4,81%
Over 50 0,00% 3,33% 2,86% 10,71% 10,13% 10,21% 0,00% 1,19% 1,11% 8,27% 5,24%
Under 30 0,00% 0,00% 0,00% 5,13% 5,92% 5,65% 0,00% 0,00% 0,00% 4,53% 5,06%
Grand total 4,00% 6,42% 5,97% 7,51% 7,43% 7,45% 1,54% 0,58% 0,74% 6,25% 4,94%

The absenteeism rate has increased from 1,9% in 2016 to 2,2% in 2017, against an acceptable benchmark of below 3%.

  Female Male Total
Region 2017
Botswana 1,9 0,3 0,8 1,4 1,0 1,2
Zimbabwe 1,3 0,7 1,1 1,6 1,1 1,5
South Africa 2,3 2,1 2,6 2,0 2,6 2,0
Grand total (including sick leave) 2,2 1,8 2,2 1,9 2,2 1,9
Employee relations

In South Africa (excluding Pronto and Safika, which are not unionised), 29% of employees are members of a recognised trade union, 43% in Botswana and 57% in Zimbabwe. The recognised trade union representation for 3Q is 48%*, reflecting an overall decline. PPC supports freedom of association and the prohibition of unfair discrimination. Relevant agreements between the company and various unions are in place and well maintained. The employee relations climate is sound and no industrial incidents or major disputes were recorded during the reporting period.

* Not verified by Deloitte for assurance.

People development

Learning and development is an integral part of our HR strategic priorities. The continuous training and development of our employees ensures we maintain a strong skills pipeline and remain globally competitive. A revised learning and development strategy was introduced during the year, more closely aligned to our talent management strategy and approach. Individual development plans are compiled for employees requiring further development in current roles and to prepare eligible employees for career advancement. This process ensures team members are appropriately developed for the benefit of both the individual and the organisation.

Training hours recorded for 2017 vary significantly from the prior year due to the change in year-end. At 108 hours’ training per employee, PPC is well above industry trends of 60 to 80 hours per employee.

Training hours per employment category: South Africa (excluding subsidiaries)

    2017     2016  
Region Total
Top management 0 1 0 0 1 0
Senior management 63 24 3 16 29 1
Professional 1 656 195 8 1 079 201 5
Skilled workers 37 070 1 032 37 21 664 1 013 21
Semi-skilled 27 477 749 39 13 193 790 17
Learners 157 274 68 2 313 65 127 78 835
Total 223 541 2 069 108 101 079 2 112 48

*Not verified by Deloitte for assurance.

Training hours per country: international

    2017     2016  
Country Total
Zimbabwe 35 360 428 83 6 700 470 19
Rwanda 19 288 248 78 25 275 252 100
Botswana 2 547 138 18 383 139 3
DRC 6 795 191 36 10 791 63 171

Training hours by race and gender: South Africa

Training hours
for year
Female Male Grand
African Coloured Indian White Total African Coloured Indian White Total
2015 44 308 8 691 482 1 824 55 305 99 722 66 305 353 17 316 183 696 239 001
2016 20 124 2 403 59 526 23 112 45 772 26 541 77 5 577 77 967 101 079
2017 35 226 10 742 155 3 117 49 239 108 141 49 889 142 16 130 174 302 223 541

Training hours for women represents 23% of total, in line with 22% in 2016.

Skills development expenditure

Training expenditure as a percentage of wage bills:

wage bill
SA (ZAR)* 956 457 291 4,8 3,3
Zimbabwe (US$) 9 869 481 1,2 3,8
Botswana (pula) 23 111 903 1,1 0,2
Rwanda (Rwandan franc) 4 313 155 767 3,1 3,1
DRC (US$) 4 388 643 5,6 11,3

*SA wage bill and training expenditure includes Pronto and Safika and excludes 3Q.

PPC Technical Skills Academy (TSA)

TSA is a centralised learning and development facility in PPC offering a range of technical and operational programmes. It is a fully accredited learnership training provider and trade test centre under both the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) and Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Seta (Merseta). TSA retained its ISO 9001:2008 certification in the review period. The trade test facility at MQA is also accredited under the new National Artisan Moderation Board (NAMB).

Since 2002, TSA has successfully trained 240 engineering learners. Employed and unemployed learners enrolled for engineering learnerships at TSA in the review period are shown below:

Engineering learnerships by trade, race and gender

Learnership programme African Coloured Indian White Total
Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female
Electrical 12 4 5 1 0 0 0 0 22
Fitter and turner 8 3 7 1 0 0 2 0 21
Plater-welder 5 1 5 0 0 0 1 0 12
Diesel mechanic 4 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 7
Total 29 8 19 3 0 0 3 0 62

Ten of 62 learners successfully completed their trade tests in the reporting period, and nine were employed either by PPC or other external organisations.

TSA is also accredited by the MQA for learnerships in Carbonate Materials Manufacturing Processes and Rock-breaking and Surface excavations. Both qualifications are registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). Participation on these programmes is as follows:

  • Carbonate materials manufacturing processes National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 4 learnership: to date, 90 employees have successfully completed this programme
  •  Rock-breaking: surface excavations NQF level 3 learnership: to date, 52 employees have successfully completed the programme

Leadership development

Effective leadership is a cornerstone of any successful organisation. Over the years, PPC invested significantly in developing leadership talent to ensure we have a healthy pipeline of globally competitive leaders. In the reporting period, we evaluated the success of various leadership initiatives offered by PPC, resulting in the development and adoption of a new leadership model and development framework. In future, development initiatives across leadership levels will be aligned to establish a common leadership culture and style that underpins a multi-national, multi-cultural and high-performance company.

Graduate development programme

This programme was implemented in 2008 to give our bursars the opportunity to gain two years’ relevant work experience. To date, 39 graduates have completed the programme, with 24 permanently employed at our operations. We currently have five graduates undergoing work integration training and development.

PPC bursary scheme

In support of PPC’s employee value proposition, a bursary scheme was introduced for children of employees in 2016. The purpose is to invest in developing South African human capital, particularly among the financially needy. The policy governing our bursary schemes focuses on scarce and critical skills as defined by the company to meet its longer-term employment equity targets and future operational needs, and to contribute to the national skills pool.

We currently fund 11 bursaries to children of employees and nine to community students.We currently fund 11 bursaries to children of employees and nine to community students.

Study assistance

To support our learning and development strategy, we annually invest in employees to further their qualifications. In 2017, 77 employees received study assistance in South Africa, including six postgraduate degrees. Five of these employees are completing MBA degrees. Study assistance is granted in line with approved individual development plans.

Employees receiving study assistance

  African Coloured Indian White Total
  Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female
  26 24 6 6 2 1 7 5 57