Social practices

The Group has made significant progress in pursuing its transformation agenda, inclusive of but not limited to staff development, social upliftment and initiatives which have a positive impact on the South African economy as a whole.

Training and development

The Group continues to adopt a blended learning approach to staff development. All training and development initiatives are aimed at addressing development needs identified in the workplace and the upskilling of staff. A blended learning approach incorporates both online and classroom-based training. As a significant number of staff are based in regional offices, this method allows all staff to benefit from the same standards of training regardless of where they are based.

Online training initiatives

The e-learning option allows staff with identified training needs to access training material via the e-learning portal. Material covered focuses on Microsoft office applications (e.g. Excel, Word, PowerPoint) at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

The technology staff have unlimited access to “Safari Books”. This ensures that they have exposure to cutting-edge material aimed at enhancing their technology skillsets. Once staff have completed the various assessments linked to Safari Books, they are able to register and complete a number of online examinations for certification.

Classroom-based training initiatives

The Group offers various modules in a classroom environment. The purpose of these modules is to address various shortfalls within the skillset of the lower to middle levels of staff. Modules offered include customer service training, planning and organising, meeting management, supervisory skills for mid-management, time management, project management and problem solving. All course material is customised for the Group environment and specifically focuses on issues encountered on a daily basis.

Product-based training

Blue Label Distribution utilises the “MyTrack” portal to communicate, train and house product-related content. Staff may access the “MyTrack” website to view the latest changes and updates on products and services and other related information. Each staff member loads a training plan, specific to their job role, and progresses from Baby Blu (induction course), via Light Blu and finally to True Blu. On completion of each set, staff are incentivised and rewarded by earning points and badges. Usage is carefully monitored to ensure that all staff are up to date with the latest products, services, policies and procedures.

Senior Management and Executives

Certain members of staff participate in a guided coaching programme aimed at enhancing their strategic thinking and leadership skills. Each participant is assigned a coach and together with their direct manager agree to a development plan around their specific needs. Pre- and post-course assessments are completed and significant improvements in the strategic and leadership abilities have been recorded.

Ad hoc training

The Group may also support staff requesting ad hoc job-related training. Such training is linked to the staff members’ development plan and participation is subject to a work-back contract.

The Group skills development spend for the period under review was R7 million (2015: R3.9 million). The growth in spend resulted from a greater commitment to the development needs of staff, an increased focus on upskilling technology staff, and the upwardly revised target contained within the amended B-BBEE codes, which came into effect during the period under review.

Learnerships

There are 14 (2015: 13) learners currently completing various SETA accredited learnerships within the Group. In order to optimise the value add both to the organisation and the learners, three streams of learnerships have been implemented – technology, financial accounting and end-user computing. This focused approach ensures that learners gain maximum exposure to their discipline in the workplace, while the organisation derives a dedicated learner. As appropriate, learners are deployed in the Technology division, offering first line end-user support in the creditors, debtors and finance loadings departments.

Socio-economic development (SED)

The Group streamlined SED spend for the year to focus primarily on initiatives relating to youth, sports development and technological development. Spend on SED amounted to R6.5 million (2015: R5.3 million). The increase was attributable to several subsidiaries being aligned to the ICT sector B-BBEE scorecard, which carries a higher SED target than the generic code.

The Group supports a number of beneficiaries. The main focus remains on the Boys and Girls Club of South Africa (BGCSA). The highlight for the year was the opening of the Protea Glen Club on 19 May 2016. The event was well attended by stakeholders and attracted national media coverage. The clubs offer facility-based after-school programmes for young people of ages between six and 19, duly supervised by trained professional staff who provide daily structured programmes and activities.

Enterprise and supplier development

The amended B-BBEE codes have consolidated the measurement of procurement and enterprise development into a single item focusing on enterprise and supplier development.

The Group continues to provide financial and strategic support to ZOK, a qualifying enterprise focused on empowering young, budding entrepreneurs. They have access to a fully equipped container which enables them to operate as a retail outlet, selling prepaid airtime and electricity among other retail offerings.

Given the fact that the bulk of the Group’s procurement is from the MNOs, the Group took a strategic decision to route all “non-core” procurement and services through The Marvellous Company , a level 1 B-BEEE rated company.

Boys & Girls Club of Protea Glen
Boys & Girls Club of Protea Glen