Exxaro report selector 2019

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Exxaro Resources Limited
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An employee value proposition (EVP) is not simply the value offered to our employees, but includes the idea that this value is exchanged for the value our employees bring to Exxaro. It is the benefits and rewards offered to employees in return for their commitment, as well as the skills and capabilities they bring to the table.

We support the business strategy through

  • Our people strategy
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Our employee value proposition

Our people strategy provides the foundation for Exxaro's approach to people and is founded on four strategic priorities:

  • Focusing on the workforce of the future
  • Creating sound people partnerships
  • Ensuring employee engagement
  • Supporting organisational transformation.

The four pillars are underpinned by a strong organisational commitment to sustain the values and behaviours of our new culture and thus enable our core purpose: to power better lives in Africa and beyond.

As the Exxaro growth strategy evolves, it is supported by embedding our organisational culture, which is the behaviour we expect from all employees. During 2019, we embarked on a rigorous implementation journey to ensure that our five culture themes and four associated values become a truly lived experience for all employees. Adequate communication and change management relating to strategic issues are driven through the connext2NEXT platform, which supports positive employee engagement within Exxaro.

It is recognised that people are at the centre of Exxaro's success and it is critical that we harness value from the diversity of thinking emanating from our workforce.

The Exxaro diversity and inclusion strategy seeks to support Exxaro's employee value proposition, which is based on the co-creation of an innovative and agile work environment, which offers value-adding people solutions while affording employees a fulfilling work experience with growth and development. As the employee value proposition evolves with Exxaro's culture, the results of a baseline culture survey will be used to further refine its development.

Sustainable human resource governance at Exxaro is maintained through a comprehensive suite of policies that cover topics such as employment, labour relations, occupational health and safety, training and education.

We remain mindful of the safety and health of our employees, as well as the people who reside in our host communities. We tirelessly strive to achieve zero harm through collective responsibility, commitment and risk awareness.

We have adopted a phased approach to meeting the needs of our communities and employees, using learnings in each phase to accelerate the next.

Safety and health

  • Safety strategy
  • Health and wellness strategy

In line with Exxaro's zero harm vision, the group's approved safety strategy focused on achieving three key objectives in 2019:

  • Zero fatalities
  • Zero HPIs
  • LTIFR of 0.12

To reach our goal, we review our LTIFR target annually, based on prior performance, and apply stringent management protocols, programmes and systems. The business unit management team investigates every LTI while all fatalities and HPIs are investigated by a skilled committee, headed by an independent chairperson. Findings are reported to the executive committee and the sustainability, risk and compliance committee, and escalated to the board. Each business unit tracks its adherence to standards and legislation through a safety improvement plan of self-assessments and corporate audits.

In risk-specific terms, the leading causes of injury remain trackless mobile machinery, fall of ground, energy and machine isolation, and lifting and material handling. While key risks differ by operation, our major challenges are vehicle incidents, energy and machinery isolation, as well as risk awareness and discipline at all levels. We concentrate on training-on-the-job to ensure sufficiently trained people are in the correct positions in our work areas.

Operating under the Mine Health and Safety Act, Exxaro has elected representatives on safety and health committees, from management and operator level, at all business units.

The group safety strategy was revised in 2017 and several focus areas were identified by leadership:

  • Following the Global Minerals Industry Risk Management course for top and senior management two years ago, we implemented associated safety improvement plans
  • Using visible felt leadership as a tool to increase management's presence in the workplace has improved communication with employees
  • Safety communication, especially safety indabas at business units, as well as the Exxaro Group Safety Leadership Day
  • Managing high-risk and non-routine tasks as well as working over weekends and holidays
  • Using innovation and technology to improve safety.

In line with the approved Exxaro safety strategy, safety communication was identified to proactively manage safety risks and turn around Exxaro's safety performance. The strategy also affirmed the need to re-establish the Exxaro CEO Sustainability Summit.

In 2019, the CEO Sustainability Summit shared Exxaro's sustainability journey, particularly the importance of safety, with over 350 internal and external stakeholders in Lephalale. In addition to the CEO Sustainability Summit, safety indabas were held across the various business units with the aim of entrenching the safety conversation in the company culture every day. Our new safety campaign, Khetha Ukuphepha (choose to be safe) was also launched to communicate the fact that zero harm is possible, to achieve safety targets, and to set the company on track to reach the three-year and beyond fatality-free milestone.

The roll-out of the campaign has been mainly conducted through the various business unit safety indabas as well as the executive committee's group-wide Safety Leadership Day, which brought members of the executive committee together with safety specialists at all of our operations to drive the safety message and demonstrate leadership support.

In 2019, we heightened compliance audits through tier 1 audits. We conducted Ilima safety audits at Grootegeluk and Matla. The audits followed a two-pronged approach driven by two teams in two parts:

  • Leadership engagement (top-down) focused on the implementation of safety processes by mine leadership
  • Safety systems review (bottom-up) focused on technical aspects, practical use of safety tools and observation of safe work procedures by workers.

The audits identified areas that could be obstacles in achieving zero harm. Some of the emerging themes include limited practical knowledge of the Exxaro safety strategy and developmental gaps in line with management's safety leadership skills.

Safety performance in 2019:

  • Zero fatalities: 33 months fatality-free
  • Zero HPIs (2018: 0)
  • LTIFR: 0.12 (target of 0.11 not achieved) (2018: 0.12) - 26 LTIs across group (2018: 23)
  • Seven section 54 and four section 55 stoppages resolved amicably with Department of Mineral Resources and Energy
  • Implemented internal management standard for stoppages and compliance instructions aligned with sections 54 and 55 of Mine Health and Safety Act and sections 29, 30 and 31 of Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act 85 of 1993).
Health and wellness

The health and wellness strategy, approved by the executive committee and the board in November 2019, aims to achieve two main objectives:

  • To shift our healthcare approach from curative and employer-driven to a preventative and employee-driven solution
  • To align the health and wellness portfolios of the company for a holistic and integrated health and wellness management programme.

The strategy identifies occupational and non-occupational health risks affecting the company and their causes, our current health solutions to mitigate those risks, the impact of the risks on the business, and the best strategy to ensure Exxaro provides a conducive working environment for employees to feel empowered to manage and to safeguard their health.

For the strategy to deliver a comprehensive health solution to the people, there needs to be a seamless integration of health and wellness management with clearly defined employer and employee responsibilities.

The strategy rests on three pillars that will ensure an integrated approach in diagnosing, managing and preventing occupational and lifestyle diseases. Processes will be aligned throughout the business units to:

  • Diagnose: Improve the medical surveillance programme by extending clinical tests conducted (heart disease and risk-based cancer screening) and ensuring all of Exxaro's employees receive a once-off DNA analysis assessment
  • Manage: Improve healthcare management by ensuring that all employees with chronic conditions are part of a disease management programme
  • Prevent: Improve preventative programmes through mandatory comprehensive wellness awareness programmes and healthy lifestyle coaching to be integrated with the certificate of fitness, and provide wearables to track and monitor health and fitness levels at all times.

Exxaro has begun advancing existing diagnostic programmes, and integrating health and wellness solutions available to employees. Wellness management will move beyond services currently offered (general and psycho-social counselling) to include healthy lifestyle coaching such as physical and mind health management under one certificate of fitness awarded after routine tests.

Occupational diseases

Occupational diseases, understood as diseases contracted at work, can be categorised as communicable and non-communicable. Non-communicable diseases are not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to the other, including NIHL, COAD, silicosis, dermatitis, asbestosis and work-related limb disorders. Communicable diseases are contagious and can be passed from person to the other such as occupational TB.

Our occupational health programmes seek to prevent and mitigate related risks for all Exxaro employees (permanent and contractors). The programmes facilitate the analysis, monitoring and management of exposure, and provide preventative measures for a range of occupational health risks.

Reported cases

Reported cases are newly diagnosed and submitted to the authorities to confirm that they are work-related and eligible for compensation under related legislation.

In 2019, Exxaro reported 51 cases of occupational diseases (2018: 65), including 35 cases of occupational TB (2018: 42), 11 of NIHL (2018: 11), two of COAD (2018: 4), one of silicosis (2018: 0) and two of pneumoconiosis (2018: 8). The decrease in cases reflects an improvement in our occupational risk exposure profiles although we need to further reduce the incidence of occupational diseases.

Accepted cases

A total of 15 occupational disease cases (demonstrably work-related) were accepted for compensation in 2019 (2018: 12): 10 of TB (2018: 5), one of NIHL (2018: 0) and four of pneumoconiosis (2018: 7).

2019   2018   2017   2016  
NIHL 11   11   12   17  
Pneumoconiosis 2   8   18   5  
Silicosis 1   0   0   0  
COAD 2   4   1   4  
Occupational TB 35   42   26   26  
Dermatitis 0   0   0   0  
Asbestosis 0   0   0   0  
Work-related upper limb disorders 0   0   0   0  
Total 51   65   57   52  

Mining-sector targets for noise and silicosis

We adhere to the mining-sector targets set in 2003 to eliminate silicosis and NIHL, as presented below.

Noise Silicosis Current status
  • Reduce NIHL to less than 10% per individual by 2008
  • Reduce noise from equipment to under 110dB(A) by 2013.
  • By December 2008, 95% of all exposure measurement results <0.1mg/m3 for respirable crystalline silica
  • Eliminate silicosis by 2013.
  • No cases of silicosis accepted for compensation
  • 11 cases of employees with hearing loss (including ECC) reported.

We will continue to implement hearing conservation and dust control programmes to reduce the number of new occupational diseases, and thus continue to trend towards the 0% milestone target of the mining charter.

Non-occupational diseases

Non-occupational diseases, also referred to as lifestyle diseases, can be categorised as communicable and non-communicable. Lifestyle communicable diseases include cholera, malaria, typhoid, influenza, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/Aids. Non-communicable diseases refer mainly to diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular ailments.

In a survey including the Exxaro group, in addition to HIV/Aids, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease were identified as the greatest health risks.

In 2019, medical surveillance identified 413 new diabetes cases (2018: 100), and 1 911 hypertensive employees and contractors (2018: 297).

The results of the survey have given the integration of our health and wellness programmes further impetus across our business units. In 2019, we also prioritised the alignment of health solutions across the business units, and integrated the prevention and control of chronic diseases into our workplace health programmes. Our initiatives were supported by case management and monitoring of individual progress in chronic disease management.

Awareness programmes continue to promote healthy living. We believe a concerted effort in this regard will help address the prevention and management of lifestyle diseases.

HIV/Aids and TB

In 2019, Exxaro employed 23 365 people (2018: 23 268) - 30% were full-time employees and 70% contractors. The prevalence of HIV/Aids across Exxaro, based only on tested full-time employees, is estimated at 24.7% in 2019 with 4 874 testing (2018: 9% with 3 840 testing), which is on par with the national rate of 20.8%. Shifting our healthcare solution to a preventative solution is therefore important so that employees are empowered to understand the importance of their health and wellbeing. Between 2014 and 2017, with appropriate education, counselling and support, 90% of our full-time employees voluntarily tested and 494 sought treatment.

We recorded a marginal increase in the number of employees and contractors enrolled in the HIV/Aids programme to 5 342 in 2019 (2018: 4 475) with 494 employees (2018: 675) and 4 848 contractors (2018: 3 800) on antiretroviral treatment (ART).

HIV/Aids awareness* 2019   2018   2017  
Attended information session 30 403   18 657   16 788  
Tested 12 679   9 492   3 512  
% tested 54   77   0  
Employees testing positive 578   356   188  
Enrolled at December (cumulative) 5 342   4 475   350  
On antiretroviral treatment 5 124   3 167   4 547  

* Includes contractors

TB and non-communicable diseases

In 2019, Exxaro reported an increase in TB cases, attributable to our health centres intensifying testing regimes, which resulted in earlier detection and treatment.

We are partnering with the Department of Health in managing TB, HIV/Aids and non-communicable diseases, including hypertension and diabetes.

In collaboration with the Department of Health through a public-private partnership, our health centres will act as facilities to monitor and manage employees and contractors who have been diagnosed with TB, HIV/Aids and non-communicable diseases, including hypertension and diabetes. The centres will also be used as collection points for medication distributed by the department's centralised chronic medicines dispensing and distribution programme. We thus plan to reduce the burden on clinic staff in terms of daily consultation numbers, and benefit our employees and contractors by reducing the need to travel to off-site clinics. Exxaro has successfully implemented this partnership in Lephalale, which has been identified as an area with a high TB prevalence.

On 24 March 2019, we hosted World TB Day with the Mine Health and Safety Council under the theme "end TB" at Matla in Mpumalanga. Services offered on the day included HIV counselling and testing, TB screening, blood pressure and blood sugar tests, medical male circumcision awareness and psychosocial counselling.

Efforts to ensure early diagnosis, prevention and management of lifestyle diseases would not be effective without Exxaro's employee communication. In addition to focusing on risk and prevention, we also provide rehabilitation and return-to-work programmes. We promote a healthy workforce through integrated health and wellness programmes, working in partnership with the Department of Health in terms of a memorandum of understanding.

Our approach is to embed our healthcare operating model, reduce health risks, provide access to healthcare, and educate, inform and empower employees to take responsibility for their wellbeing.

Employee wellness

Exxaro's employee assistance programme ensures that any of our people facing difficulties have access to an external counselling service as preventative measures help employees manage personal concerns and assists management in minimising productivity issues. Employees use the programme for personal and professional counselling, including:

  • Psychosocial
  • Legal
  • Financial
  • Emotional difficulties
  • Family matters
  • Work-related challenges
  • Dependency on substances.

Our health and wellness strategy ensures that these programmes are part of mandatory comprehensive wellness awareness programmes with healthy lifestyle coaching integrated into the issuance of certificates of fitness across the group. Other preventative initiatives include the development of a wellness tracking platform for employees and employer including wearables, vaccines, supplements and prophylaxes, and improvement of fitness programmes at all sites with access to gyms, sporting facilities and clubs, as well as closer collaboration with community health support programmes such as the programme driven by Exxaro in Emakhazeni (Belfast), Mpumalanga.

Talent management

Our well-defined talent management strategies include strategic workforce planning, learning and development as well as strategic sourcing so that Exxaro is able to ensure a healthy pipeline of talent. Talent-planning initiatives are geared to provide a steady supply of competent individuals for specialist and leadership positions, and aim to balance internal placements with external sourcing, thereby maintaining the balance between internal succession and achieving transformational targets.

Talent management includes initiatives that focus on building leadership, management and technical competencies as well as broadening knowledge through a powerful learning journey. Programmes include leadership training, formal studies, mentoring, coaching, internships, learnerships, skills development, adult education and training and short courses. Development opportunities are available to all permanent employees at every level of the organisation. Exxaro also provides training to community members (in line with SLP commitments) including unemployed youth within our professional and technical pipelines.

Exxaro's current talent strategies mainly provide career and development opportunities designed to meet current business needs. The strategies are evolving to include learning opportunities that will grow new capabilities that support our digital and growth strategy.

We keep abreast of changes in our operating environment in order to secure the skills and capabilities the business may need in the future, especially for the fourth industrial revolution. We also recognise the value of intergenerational training and development to ensure that the experience of established employees is passed on to younger employees through coaching and mentoring programmes.

To meet our skills requirements, we invest in existing and potential future employees as well as the communities that provide labour for our operations. At present, 99% of Exxaro's labour is sourced in South Africa. Our bursar, graduate, learnership and skills development initiatives are geared to empower local communities to compete for positions.

Human resource development

Human resource development initiatives aim to reduce the shortage of skills within the mining industry, which is particularly challenging in South Africa. Exxaro's learning strategies are designed to accelerate the development of technical skills and leadership competence among employees, focusing on the development of black people, women and people living with disabilities. At the same time, we thus comply with training targets and goals prescribed by legislation. Further than compliance, learning programmes optimise individual potential, empower employees to grow and contribute, and nurture local talent within our stakeholder communities.

We invest an appropriate amount of annual salaries and wages in developing our people. In 2019, we spent R298 million on training and development or 6.52% of payroll (2018: 6.3% or R260 million), including:

  • R103 million on job-related operation and technical training at business units, including operator training and mobile equipment licences (162 043 training interventions were completed using our e-learning platform)
  • R78 million on bursaries, professionals in training, internships, learnerships and skills programmes to secure our talent pipeline (viewed from the perspective of outcomes, we examine key areas across the skills value chain to ensure the right skills are available at the right time) with over half of talent pipeline spend on artisan and miner learnership development
  • R14 million on developing targeted employees through management programmes, leadership roles, postgraduate studies and support functions
Human resource development (Rm) 2019   2018   2017  
Total training 298   260   224  
Total training as % of total payroll 6.52   6.3   5.1  
Black people training 219   211   185  
Black people trained as % of total payroll 4.81   Only historically disadvantaged South Africans measured   Only historically disadvantaged South Africans measured  

Bursary and graduate programmes

Exxaro awards bursaries to school leavers from our communities to pursue careers in technical disciplines such as engineering (metallurgical, chemical, mechanical, electrical, mining and civil), mine surveying, geology, electronics and computer science. Our bursaries cover fees for registration, tuition, books and residence, as well as meal and cash allowances. In 2019, we supported 39 bursars (2018: 59) studying at South African institutions at a cost of R3.7 million (2018: R4.5 million) - 82% black South Africans (2018: 75%) including 28% black women (2018: 25%).

Graduate bursars are our main source of talent, making up 70% of our pipeline, with 30% sourced externally.

Our three-year professionals-in-training (PIT) programme blends academic theory with hands-on experience in the workplace. Each graduate is paired with a technical mentor who supervises exposure to various operations as well as technical, leadership and management training. After 36 months, trainees who meet the requirements for accreditation are guided to become professional engineers.

In 2019, there were 74 professionals in training (2018: 75) at an annual cost of R34 million (2018: R29.3 million) - 72% were black people (2018: 67%) including 31% black women (2018: 29%). Of the 18 participants completing the programme in 2019, Exxaro placed 16 or just over 89% (2018: 73%) throughout the company. The remaining applications have been retained for placement as and when vacancies open.

Learnerships and skills programmes

Exxaro offers sponsored learnerships, mainly in engineering and mining disciplines at the acclaimed Grovos training centre in Lephalale and the Colliery Training College in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga. Learnership needs are determined through a comprehensive needs analysis that incorporates the business strategy, skills gap analysis, employee career progression, SLP commitments and employment equity targets. In 2019, 91% of learners in the pipeline were black people including 32% black women.

Exxaro's feeder schemes provide sponsored formal practical training in core skills, including operation and maintenance of plant and mobile equipment. Workplace training is conducted at Grootegeluk and Matla by service providers accredited by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations. Exxaro pays for the training as well as a monthly allowance given to participants for the duration of the learnership.

Feeder schemes in 2019 Number in training   Black people   Black women  
Engineering learners 494   422   127  
Miner learners 31   31   12  
Operator learners 275   262   88  
Internships 141   140   64  
Business administration learners 23   23   18  

Adult education and training

Functional literacy is vital for our industry as safety training and communication is often written. As more than 90% of our workforce has a qualification of NQF level 1 and above, written communication is more effective, particularly on safety matters. For employees who are not functionally literate, classroom training is provided, under the guidance of a qualified instructor, with instruction in mother tongue.

Employees with qualifications below NQF level 1 are given the opportunity to become functionally literate through adult education and training (AET) programmes. Employees are encouraged to complete AET training in their own time although options for full-time study are available in numeracy and literacy as well as AET level 1.

We have accredited AET training centres at Grootegeluk (in partnership with an external service provider) and Matla. At the other Exxaro business units, accredited external service providers are sourced.

Although we strongly encourage employees to attend AET programmes at all operations, enrolments have declined gradually over the years. In 2019, we invested R1.4 million in AET compared to R1.7 million in 2018. In 2019, 19 employees and 49 community members were enrolled in AET programmes. In 2018, a total of 52 employees and community members enrolled in AET programmes. Since inception, more than 1 300 employees have passed one or more AET levels.

Leadership development

Developing future leaders is a critical pillar of our talent management strategy. Accordingly, we provide supervisory and leadership development from junior management to executive level. In addition, Exxaro provides full sponsorship for part-time undergraduate and postgraduate studies so that employees can attend courses and seminars as well as conferences locally and internationally. In instances where studies are not sponsored, Exxaro offers study loans for approved programmes.

In 2019, we trained 59 employees in basic management (2018: 100), 116 in first-line management (2018: 70) and 24 (2018: 26) in middle management. In addition, 48 employees (2018: 75) completed leadership programmes at first line, middle and senior management levels. Leadership programmes are customised to include Exxaro's culture and values-based philosophy with programmes incorporating the principles of self-awareness, mindfulness and systems thinking,

Mentorship and coaching programmes

In the interests of leadership development, Exxaro offers mentorship, coaching and fast-tracking programmes for employees aspiring for leadership positions. In 2019, seven employees (2018: 24) were placed in executive coaching programmes and 42 in mentorship programmes (2018: 34). Another 60 employees were identified to participate in the fast-tracking programme. Development plans for fast tracking high potential employees will be finalised in 2020.

Exxaro considers leadership development a powerful tool to grow the business, to enable change and transformation, and to foster a value-driven culture.

Employee engagement

We foster a culture of adaptability to the ever-changing world around us, encouraging our employees to be willing to learn and improve in everything they do.

As we strive towards achieving our 2026 strategy, we continue to embrace opportunities that could lead us towards success. Our values and culture, which speak to the foundation of Exxaro and define us as employees, are embedded in our strategy.

Our connect2NEXT programme is a vehicle for communicating major shifts within Exxaro as we strive to achieve our strategy. Our focus is on building capacity for change, communication, alignment and integration while modifying behaviour and aligning our values through the following culture themes:

Responsible Ownership Diverse Open and connected Adaptable
Make Exxaro a positive place to be Success lies with each of us Our potential is in our differences Working together will bring out the best in us all We cannot move forward by standing still
Acting ethically, with accountability and against misconduct, while treating others with dignity, fosters a safe and healthy work environment. Contributing to performance and innovation every day, building together, we can drive Exxaro to new heights. Harnessing our unique individual skills and opinions enables us to achieve exceptional outcomes. Achieving organisational excellence in an open and evolving ecosystem requires collaboration and teamwork. Succeeding in the ever-changing world around us requires agility and willingness to learn and improve.

Our culture themes reflect behaviours expected of our employees every day — the simplest embodiment of our values. During 2019, by approaching our values with an innovative outlook, we integrated and activated five desired culture themes throughout the business.

Highlights of the connect2NEXT implementation process in 2019 included:

  • Culture: We refreshed Exxaro's timeless values and developed culture themes to create awareness and communicate the desired behaviours. The process of embedding the new culture and supporting new ways of working in a practical and integrated way began with a clear roll out throughout the organisation.
  • Workplace: We delivered and adopted new ways of working to shape our new culture, including a move to the conneXXion in July as a physical manifestation of our strategy. Employees were also empowered through various communication sessions to ensure a smooth transition into the new environment. Guidelines were shared and people were prepared with change enablement before the move.
  • Digital@Exxaro: We introduced various digital technology solutions such as Signing Hub, integrated analytics, Microsoft Teams, ServiceNow, among others, to enable the organisation to work faster, collaboratively and efficiently.
  • Smart workforce: To ensure that Exxaro's workforce is fit for the advancing digital economy, we introduced smart workforce training programmes to upskill and reskill people in digital technologies, design thinking and analytics at the conneXXion and business units.
  • Partnering via ecosystems: We worked to improve socio-economic conditions across all regions in Mpumalanga and Limpopo by collaborating in various partnerships with external stakeholders. Our efforts to uplift communities included the construction of houses, crèches and community halls as well as small business development. We focused firmly on youth and bridging the unemployment gap ( details in Talent management, Enterprise and supplier development and Contractor support).
  • Organisational excellence: We upheld continuous improvement as a value-adding mechanism that benefits the entire organisation and our stakeholders. The focus was on enhancing integration, collaboration and driving efficient processes with various business stakeholders to solve bottlenecks and to effectively use tools and principles such as Lean, Agile and Startup Way methodologies.

Our values and empowered culture are at the core of our organisation and define us as employees in the way we work, interact, behave and respond to issues that arise. Furthermore, they filter into the work we do to better society. The themes have been broadcast to all business units, which will also roll out specific customised plans. Every employee is expected to demonstrate these values.

As our strategy evolves, our way of working needs to change to achieve our goals. Our connect2NEXT concept will power the change that we want to see, and it will guide Exxaro on the journey towards new ways of thinking and operating.

We are also developing an employee engagement survey, which will be rolled out in the first quarter of 2020, to provide a baseline for our organisational culture, as well as the broader employee value proposition, which encompasses everything the company is doing to attract and retain talent.

Employee-management relations

Collaboration and constructive engagement remains the cornerstone of our approach to organised labour. Our relationship with all our trade unions is based on the values of trust and integrity so that all our engagement structures function well as a vital conduit for managing issues. In addition, our employee relations strategy provides an effective framework for proactively maintaining a healthy workplace climate.

Our policies and procedures are aligned with sound labour relations practices and developed within the framework of relevant labour legislation. Our employee relations environment caters for the management of individual and collective employee issues.

In total, 5 087 of our employees (2018: 4 882) are represented by affiliated unions recognised by Exxaro subsidiaries, mainly the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), UASA (formerly United Association of South Africa), Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA).

Union Number of employees  
AMCU 362  
FAWU 44  
NUMSA 48  
NUM 4 094  
Solidarity 470  
UASA 69  
Total 5 087  

We concentrate on maintaining sound relations with employees in bargaining units by engaging with their representative trade unions where applicable, based on a pluralist approach to trade union recognition through formal agreements. Negotiations for wages and conditions of employment are conducted through company forums.

Our multi-year wage agreements for Exxaro Coal, Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga and Ferroland Grondtrust, concluded in 2017, are valid until June 2020. We will begin substantive negotiations towards the end of April 2020. In 2019, FerroAlloys concluded a two-year agreement with NUMSA, which is valid until June 2020.

Our disciplinary codes are based on the principle of fairness, as required by labour law, and our supervisors have the skills to implement the codes. Various skills workshops and training are conducted continuously with employee relations managers and line leaders, confirming the commitment of all parties to building solid relationships. We seek to broaden our employee relations capacity building processes to include an understanding of recognition agreements and their purpose, particularly in light of new recognition agreements concluded by Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga.

Share ownership

In terms of the interim cash scheme, equivalent in value to a dividend payment, introduced by our remuneration and nomination committee in 2017, a qualifying employee in service on all two payment dates received a total of R9 264 in 2019 (2018: R10 925).

The base calculation used to determine the dividend payment is equal to 500 units (one unit representing one share) or less (depending on the employee's length of service).

Dividend payments in 2019 Number of active participants   Number of units   Payment before 
tax (R)
  Payment (R)  
June 6 235   2 890 900   16 044 495   12 835 596   
November (including special dividend) 6 267   2 865 660   50 464 273   40 371 418   

A new employee share ownership plan trust and scheme were developed for qualifying employees in 2019 and will be implemented in 2020. It is similar to the interim scheme and beneficiaries will benefit from dividend payments only for the duration of employment.

Diversity and inclusion

As Exxaro continues on its transformation journey, we have developed and adopted a diversity and inclusion strategy as a key imperative for the business to derive value from the diverse talent and thinking we have at our disposal. The diversity and inclusion strategy is also a crucial enabler of the Exxaro growth strategy in that harnessing diversity is viewed at a competitive differentiator for the business.

The diversity and inclusion strategy is supported by a policy highlighting Exxaro's commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment, and commitment to eradicating any forms of unfair discrimination in policies and practices. The journey towards greater diversity and inclusion is based on a phased approach, including organisational maturity and the achievement of key milestones, as highlighted in the diagram below.

Diversity and inclusion road map

Employment equity and skills development remain at the cornerstone of our commitment to meeting our transformation objectives through implementing appropriate affirmative action measures and human resource development. The transformation processes are also supported by continuous diversity and inclusion programmes as well as culture engagement at our business units and corporate office.

Employment equity

Exxaro continues to make steady progress in its employment equity targets with detailed EE plans for each business unit, developed in consultation with employees and unions. Our affirmative-action measures are aligned to achieve these targets and focus on attracting, developing and retaining people from historically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Exxaro has achieved its employment equity targets for the past five years. Our targets for 2019 to 2022 have been set and are in line with the new mining charter promulgated in September 2018.

Our annual report on employment equity, as submitted to the Department of Labour, is illustrated below.

  Male   Female   Total              
Management category % black
  Number   % black
  Number   % black   Number   % HDP*
  % HDP*   Number  
Top management 33.33   1   33.33   1   66.67   2   50     67     2  
Senior management 36.46   35   9.38   9   45.83   44   60     50     48  
Middle management 35.54   231   20.46   133   56.00   364   60     68.77     447  
Junior management 50.16   1 227   18.27   447   68.44   1 674   70     75.02     1 835  
People with disabilities 0.8   12   0   0   12.00   0.8   0     0.80     12  

* Historically disadvantaged people.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy disability target is 1.5% for the entire workforce.

Our staff complement was 6 812 in 2019 (2018: 6 648) with 81.5% employees (2018: 82%) in bargaining units and 18.5% (2018: 18%) in the management and specialist category.

  Bargaining unit       Management and specialist      
Region Male   % of
  Female   % of
  Total   Male   % of
  Female   % of
Foreign 38   0.56   1   0.01   39   5   0.07   1   0.01   6  
Gauteng 61   0.9   13   0.19   74   254   3.73   216   3.17   470  
KwaZulu-Natal 35   0.51   15   0.22   50   2   0.03   1   0.01   3  
Limpopo 2 406   35.32   642   9.42   3 048   377   5.53   98   1.44   475  
Mpumalanga 1 874   27.51   468   6.87   2 342   213   3.13   92   1.35   305  
Total 4 414   64.8   1 139   16.72   5 553   851   12.49   408   5.99   1 259  

For 2019, Exxaro's average employee turnover rate was 3.8% (2018: 5.1%) due to death, resignation and dismissal. The turnover rate by employee group is shown below:

January to December 2019
Breakdown of turnover by level Number   % of
Middle management 31   0.46  
Junior management/skilled 98   1.44  
Semi-skilled 108   1.59  
Unskilled 18   0.26  
Total 255   3.74  

Eliminating discrimination and resolving grievances

Our diversity and inclusion strategy signifies that Exxaro remains fully committed to the concept and practice of equal opportunity, irrespective of race, religion, gender, health status, sexual orientation or nationality. We believe that our potential is in our differences. We therefore embrace the diversity of our strengths and individual skills to enable exceptional outcomes and promote a culture of inclusivity across the group. We are guided by our values which, among others, prescribe behaviour that celebrates the power of diversity. Discrimination is not acceptable on any grounds, and managers and supervisors are continuously trained to appropriately apply disciplinary measures should the need arise.

In the review period, no cases of alleged discrimination or grievances were filed.

Human rights

Exxaro complies with labour legislation in South Africa and International Labour Organisation guidelines. As a signatory to the UNGC, we encourage freedom of association and collective bargaining, and do not tolerate child labour and forced or compulsory labour.

The group's compliance with legislation and international conventions was audited by our internal auditors and confirmed in the prior period.

Our induction programmes educate employees about human rights. Policies on discrimination, harassment and racism are in place, as well as structures to protect employees' human rights in the workplace. Security personnel are fully trained in human rights aspects relevant to each operation. Refresher courses also cover human rights issues.

We are about to finalise a policy on gender equality. The policy aims to align Exxaro with the equality clause, as set out in chapter 2 of the South African Constitution, as well as the National Gender Policy Framework adopted by Parliament in 2000. It also seeks to align the practices and function of Exxaro with the UN convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination adopted by the South African government in 1995.

Our employees have a right to freedom of association with six unions recognised as a collective bargaining agent of employees within the Exxaro group. Out of 6 812 employees, 5 087 are unionised, which is 75% of the workforce.

Exxaro encourages open and honest communication among employees, and between employees and supervisors. In our contracts of employment, employees are advised of their rights to lodge a grievance if they are dissatisfied.

Newly appointed employees are made aware, during induction, that Exxaro stands against discrimination. We are all equal at Exxaro and we must be respectful towards everyone, regardless of differences.

Women in mining

Exxaro continues to prioritise and empower female employees, who make up 22% of our workforce (2018: 22%). We aim to grow this talent pipeline through our professionals-in-training programme, which is 43% female (2018: 40%), 33% of bursaries are awarded to women studying full-time in engineering and mining disciplines at universities in 2019 (36% in 2018) and 35% of our learnership and internship feeder schemes comprises women.

We strive to uphold diversity and our brand is recognised as a leader in gender empowerment.

To achieve a more equitable gender balance, and develop relevant initiatives that align with our diversity and inclusion strategy, we first sought to understand the main barriers women face in the mining industry. It is against this backdrop that our strategy focuses on different methodologies to upskill and retain historically disadvantaged people and employment equity candidates with focus on women. The following initiatives are underway:

  • Fast-tracking programmes and executive mentorship programmes
  • Gender mainstreaming and sexual harassment awareness at all levels
  • Encouraging and mentoring young women and girls in our communities to plan their careers and acquire skills to become independent and empowered
  • Adoption of Exxaro's group gender policy.

Concerted efforts by companies to create an environment in which all employees are comfortable and proud to work has increased the number of women in the mining industry significantly since 2004. As we celebrate their growing influence, we must also recognise women's further aspirations for growth and education.


In line with our mining charter obligations and our business needs, we address home ownership under our long-term housing strategy.

Since introducing a mortgage repayment subsidy for first-time home buyers who are permanent employees in 2009 — a period marked with an unprecedented scarcity of bank mortgage finance — a total of 625 employees have benefited (2018: 387).

The first-time home ownership capital assistance programme has proven to be a key enabler of home ownership among our employees. Our R125 000 capital assistance allows employees to reduce their mortgages significantly and improves affordability. To date, this has helped 845 employees in specific salary grades to become home owners.

As part of our housing strategy, Exxaro has converted all its hostels into single-quarter accommodation or family units, improving quality of life for over 920 employees.

While our housing policy focuses on home ownership, bargaining unit employees receive a housing or living-out allowance. In 2019, the housing allowance was paid to 1 652 employees (2018: 1 461) with a registered bond and the living-out allowance to 3 683 renting accommodation (2018: 3 727).

Case study: the conneXXion

In the spirit of transformation, we looked at our workplace, as well as the way we work, to best achieve our business objectives.

Our Pretoria West office in the city of Tshwane is a symbol of our inception but, as we were evolving, we needed space that advanced our goals and reflected the essence of our organisation.

With our purpose, culture and strategic ambitions in mind, the conneXXion was born as our new head office in Centurion. The building has been designed for independent and interactive activity-based modes of working, advancing productivity and holistic wellbeing.

The open-plan design and intuitive technology encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing across all disciplines, stimulating inwardly led transformation, and attracting and retaining the best talent. It also reflects our culture of honesty, transparency, trust, empowerment, accountability, inclusivity and collaboration. The multi-functioning space promotes greener business practice, ergonomics, healthy food choices and greater ease of movement. Beyond creating a better connection with nature, it also promotes social experiences and thus unites us across our fields of expertise.

The conneXXion, awarded a five-star green rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa, honours sustainable practices and Exxaro's environmental commitment. The design incorporates many environmentally sustainable initiatives such as zoned lighting, waste management, energy efficient building services and systems, water efficient fixtures such as rainwater harvesting for use in toilets and landscape irrigation, and water-wise landscaping, as well as abundant fresh air and low-VOC interior finishes to ensure suitable indoor air quality.