Talent Management and People Development

Health and Safety of employees is a priority

Tongaat Hulett seeks to attract, employ, retain and develop high calibre and diverse employees who are able to contribute to the achievement of the business’s strategic goals. Building capacity and capability include the continuous assessment of the capability profiles of teams and individuals against the required competencies and appropriate actions taken to address the gaps that are identified. Some of the interventions include the clarification of roles, responsibilities and relationships, making key appointments, dealing with transformation and employment profile requirements and addressing succession planning gaps by ensuring an appropriate pipeline of skilled people to meet longer term strategic capability requirements, leadership, management and supervisory development, talent management processes coupled with fast tracked development, focused technical and engineering skills upliftment, coaching and mentoring, project assignments, job rotation and encouraging employees to embark on self-directed as well as structured development programmes.

Effective skills development practices at all levels is a priority and continues to be strengthened, including supervisory, management and leadership development, learnerships, in-service training, operator training, general skills development of shop floor employees and effective coaching and mentoring processes. Competency gaps and individual training and development needs are being identified and action plans developed to address these needs. Action plans are developed to address the needs of high performing and highly talented individuals, with particular emphasis on black employees in the case of South Africa.

Existing Skills

Appropriate organisational transformation is encouraged to facilitate Tongaat Hulett being managed as one company across all countries, where functionality is based on expertise instead of hierarchy / function and the encouragement of multi-skilling and multiple relationships. This transformation includes improved region wide communication and instilling a sense of belonging amongst all employees in all operations. Task-based processes and the encouragement of dynamism, decentralisation, growth, results-orientation, indigenisation, innovation and sustainability are being reinforced. In addition, an organisational climate is being nurtured to unlock the emotional energy and company commitment of employees and to assist in building Tongaat Hulett into an employer of choice.

Bursaries, scholarships, trainee programmes and learnerships continue to be sponsored by the company, to assist with sourcing and developing young talent in anticipation of future skills requirements. To support these programmes, strong partnerships have been formed with select educational institutions and Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs). Workplace skills plans and implementation reports are submitted to the relevant SETA on an annual basis.

Recruitment strategies include the use of psychometric assessments and web-based recruitment linked to Career Junction. Partnerships and relationships with education institutions continue to be strengthened with institutions such as the University of Witwatersrand Electrical Engineering/Process Control, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Mangosuthu Technikon and the Durban University of Technology.

Employment Equity and Indigenisation

The total workforce as at 31 March 2013 across all countries was 39 246 compared to a total of 41 777 the previous year (full time employees, casuals and contractors).

In South Africa there continues to be a need to address the imbalances of the past and a strong employment equity culture has been fostered over many years. Actions are continuing to improve the representation of designated groups, with particular emphasis on Africans, black women and persons with disabilities, with the intention to align the workforce profile with the underlying demographics of the country. As at 31 March 2013, 61,2 percent of management and 84,6 percent of skilled and supervisory positions are filled by black employees. Women constitute 36,2 percent of the workforce across South African operations. Within the South African operations, 74,2 percent of the 609 graduates and diplomates employees are black, with women constituting 46,1 percent.

The Tongaat Hulett Employment Equity Committee is chaired by the CEO and the broad composition of this committee ensures that it benefits from company wide experience and expertise in achieving its objectives. Its main objective is to review target setting and progress on all employment equity related matters and to make recommendations on the implementation of employment equity policies. These policies are based on equal opportunity for all within a diverse workforce with a substantial number of members of designated groups at all levels. The implementation of these policies is facilitated by appropriate performance and talent management processes, recruitment targets, development and training programmes, coaching and mentoring and innovative management development practices.

The employment equity report for Tongaat Hulett’s South African operations, as at 31 December 2011, as submitted to the Department of Labour (DoL) is available here.



Karen (or Nomsa, as she is often referred to by her colleagues) was the first female project manager appointed at the then Moreland in 2006, as part of its drive to include more women in its project management operations in the company.

Appointed as the Development Manager for the Cornubia project, in the former Commercial and Industrial portfolio, she was promoted to Development Executive in 2009. This move meant greater responsibilities across the overall project as well as other smaller landholdings in and around Tongaat.

In January 2013, she was promoted to her present position as Human Settlements Executive, also the first woman ever appointed to the Tongaat Hulett Developments Board. “In this role, I am providing leadership on all aspects relating to Human Settlements by improving the quality of living conditions of those at the lower end of the socioeconomic strata” and says “it was the best 41st birthday present ever!”.


To read more about Karen go to:


Training related information in respect of the South African operations for the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013

Total training spend R36,2 million
1 percent skills levy R13,6 million
Training spend as a % of leviable amount 2,7 % (excluding 1% skills)
Number of person days trained 10 040
Number of person days available 1 660 830
% trained person days 0,6 %
Number of persons trained 1 740
Expenditure on African, Coloured & Indian Employees R22 389 863
Expenditure on African, Coloured & Indian Women R9 690 162
Expenditure on Employees with Disabilities R198 934

Formal Training programmes

The overall proportion of black representation in management as at 31 March 2013 was 61,2 percent of permanent staff at this level, compared to 57,4 percent at 31 March 2012. It is envisaged that by 2015, black representation at management level (D band and above) will be approximately 65,0 percent. Females at senior management level increased from 12,3 percent to 14,5 percent as at 31 March 2013, the proportion of black females in top management increased from 19,2 percent to 22,2 percent as at 31 March 2013 and black females in management increased from 19,6 percent to 20,9 percent in March 2013.

There were 80 employees with disabilities as at 31 March 2013, which constituted 1,2 percent of the employee complement (81 employees with disabilities as at 31 March 2012).


Period Number
(as at 31 March 2013)
Average Age
(as at 31 March 2013)
Number Terminated
(1 April 2012
- 31 March 2013)
Number Appointed
(1 April 2012
- 31 March 2013)
Degrees/Diplomas 1 107 40 42 76
Artisans 520 40 25 38

Human Rights

Within its sphere of influence, Tongaat Hulett implements protection for basic human rights. The company is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in which it commits, among others, to supporting the freedom of association and collective bargaining at its locations, as well as preventing child and/or forced labour. Tongaat Hulett has incorporated human rights principles in its practices, and operates within a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, which supports its commitment to a policy of fair dealing, honesty and integrity in the conduct of its business.

This is based on a fundamental belief that business should be conducted honestly, fairly and legally. The company expects all employees to share its commitment to high moral, ethical and legal standards. The company has always strived to maintain a constructive relationship with unions and a climate of industrial peace has generally prevailed. There are recognition agreements with 12 different unions as at 31 March 2013 and approximately 74 percent of permanent employees are members of unions.

Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining

Tongaat Hulett employees have the right to freedom of association. This right is also entrenched in the company’s code of ethics, business principles and policies.

Trade unions formally recognised are:

  • Botswana – Botswana Beverages and Allied Workers Union (BBAWU)
  • Mozambique – Sindicato Nacional dos Trabalhadores da Industria Do Açucar e Afins (SINTIA)
  • Namibia – Namibian Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFAU)
  • South Africa – Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU); National Sugar and Refining and Allied Industries Employees Union (NASARAIEU); South African Agricultural Plantation and Allied Workers Union (SAAPAWU); United Association of South Africa (UASA) National Union of Democratic and Progressive Workers (NUPDW); Chemical Energy Paper Printing Wood and Allied Workers Union (CEPPWAWU)
  • Swaziland – Swaziland Agriculture and Plant Workers Union (SAPWU
  • Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Industry Workers Union (ZSMIWU); Zimbabwe Hotel and Catering Workers Union (ZHCWU)

There were two strike incidents which resulted in one day lost in Swaziland and at the Sugar Refinery, 438 employees went on strike, which resulted in five days lost with a financial cost implication of R7,9 million for the period under review.

Disciplinary Procedures

Creating an enabling enviroment for
employees to develop

The disciplinary codes and procedures make provision for corrective behavior and have been drawn up in order to apply discipline in a just, equitable, non-discriminatory and consistent manner, in line with the relevant labour legislation. If any employee feels unjustly treated, they are entitled to exercise their rights in terms of the particular operation’s internal appeal procedure and the relevant legislation.

Disciplinary codes and procedures have been implemented at local operations, after negotiations with the relevant trade unions.

Grievance Procedures

The company’s grievance procedures are intended to create an environment that is conducive to good employee relations, by facilitating prompt and fair action by the company when employees raise legitimate complaints. The intention of the grievance procedures is to ensure that grievances are resolved as near to their point of origin as possible, and within a reasonable time frame.

Child Labour, Forced and Compulsory Labour

Tongaat Hulett does not make use of child labour and does not tolerate the inhumane treatment of employees, including any form of illegal forced labour, physical punishment or other abuse.

Anti-Bribery and Corruption

The upholding of Tongaat Hulett’s core values requires that the business actively works to prevent corruption and bribery. The organisation has procedures in place that provide guidance on areas such as dealing with gifts and donations. Employees of Tongaat Hulett who do not comply with the company’s Code of Ethics policy face disciplinary action, including dismissal or termination of their contract.