Human rights are the basic freedoms of dignity, fairness, equality and respect.
Exxaro strives to be a responsible steward of natural assets and social capital to uplift host communities.
Acknowledging that our operations could negatively impact human rights, we have developed a policy and are committed to implementing processes that align with South African legislation and corporate governance guidelines. At a minimum, we promote human rights set out in legislation, including the South African Constitution, and the following guiding principles:
We are committed to:
Cennergi has human resources policies that ensure human rights considerations are adequately managed and addressed. Our approach to promoting and protecting human rights is guided by a code of conduct and grievance procedure aligned with South African human rights legislation.
Cennergi is also committed to the IFC's Performance Standard 2 on labour and working conditions, which requires companies to treat their workers fairly, provide safe and healthy working conditions, avoid using child or forced labour and identify related risks in their primary supply chain.
Employees can report human rights violations to supervisors, line managers, the human resources department or anonymously through Exxaro's fraud and ethics hotline.
Exxaro's employment contracts advise employees of their rights to lodge a grievance, without fear of victimisation, if they are dissatisfied. We address grievances in terms of our formal procedure.
Our SERC committee oversees the consequences of the group's activities and output on its status as a responsible corporate citizen in the protection of human rights on behalf of the board. In addition, the RBR committee has oversight from a risk and compliance perspective, while the remuneration committee focuses on fair and responsible remuneration within the group. The executive committee is responsible for implementing our human rights policy.
There were no human rights-related grievances lodged against Exxaro in 2022.
We redeveloped our human rights policy (our business, governance tab), which outlines our expectations of employees, suppliers, business partners and other parties directly linked to our operations, products and services. We will continue to embed human rights practices within our business and business conduct and further align these to our renewed policy.
The renewed policy provides guidelines to ensure that we adhere to human rights principles. It is aligned with our purpose to power better lives in Africa and beyond because we believe that all people have inherent fundamental human rights regardless of their differences. As such, we are committed to investing in and developing areas within our sphere of influence for the benefit of our stakeholders.
The table below outlines how we are addressing key human rights issues.
Governance and ethics
Our board manages impacts on our reputation in the following areas:
To protect human rights throughout the value chain, we prefer contractors and suppliers who share and demonstrate our values, as outlined in our supplier code of conduct.
Of the 64 (2021: 54) corruption cases reported against employees, 55 resulted in further action such as disciplinary inquiries, cases registered with the South African Police Service and arrests. Completed disciplinary investigations returned a guilty verdict and resulted in 41 (2021: nine) dismissal cases. None of the cases involving dismissal went to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (2021: one).
Equal opportunities/non-discrimination and transformation
Our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy protects employees' human rights by preventing discrimination, harassment and racism. It aligns with the South African Constitution and other legislation, the National Gender Policy Framework and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Human rights in the workplace
We will not use, cause, demand or impose forced or compulsory labour on any person.
As we operate in accordance with ILO conventions on the minimum age for admission to employment and the worst forms of exploitation of child labour, we will not employ people under the legal minimum age of 18. We support legitimate workplace apprenticeships, internships and similar programmes that comply with applicable laws and regulations.
We also safeguard employees' physical and mental health with reasonable working hours, leave and holidays guided by the ILO conventions.
When necessary, discipline is fair and in accordance with our transparent disciplinary and grievance mechanisms.
Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
We respect every employee's right to join or form a labour union without fear of reprisal, intimidation or harassment. Where a legally recognised union represents employees, we are committed to establishing constructive dialogue with freely chosen representatives. Supporting the principle of collective bargaining, we are also committed to engaging in good faith with these representatives.
Health and safety in the work environment
We use stringent management protocols, programmes and systems to maintain zero harm in our workplaces.
Respect for all communities
As a responsible corporate citizen, we respect the cultural values of societies, including indigenous people and traditional authorities in our host communities with specific regard to self-sufficiency, sustainability, health, safety and the natural environment.
We believe communities have the fundamental right of access to quality water, affordable electricity, and protection from noise, air pollution and hazardous materials.
Until we have specific resettlement guidelines for non-mining-related resettlements, to provide for involuntary resettlement as per the Minerals Council's Human Rights Framework, we are guided by the IFC's Performance Standard 5 and comply with the DMRE's mine community resettlement guidelines, effective 30 March 2022.
When protest action affects our operations, we are guided by the Regulation of Gatherings Act, 1993 (Act 205 of 1993), our stakeholder management and human rights policies, and our security strategy, aligned with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
We also ensure employees are continuously trained in human rights principles:
Environmental management and conservation
Our social impact framework addresses mine closure through our mineral succession planning programme.
The minerals succession programme is aimed at assisting black emerging farmers with access to resources in order to ensure that they can commercialise their businesses and to create a positive legacy in the area in the form of secondary economy. The programme focuses on areas where Exxaro (previously Kumba and Iscor) previously operated mining businesses and addresses funding, access to markets, inputs, machinery and training.
Planning early for mine closure is critical to protect the future of the environment and society, and to uplift host communities. We therefore prioritise closure planning and mine rehabilitation before, during and after the operating LoM.
We are committed to responsible mining, decarbonisation and mitigating the impact of climate change, beyond compliance, as articulated in our Climate Change Response strategy (2020 investor tab).
We frequently conduct due diligence reviews to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for our response to adverse human rights impacts. The process assesses actual and potential human rights impacts, integrates and acts upon findings, tracks responses and communicates how impacts are addressed.