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Developing our people


Valuing and managing human resources

Petra is committed to the effective management of the employees and contractors which sustain its operations across both South Africa and Tanzania.

The organisational responsibility for human resources is located at the Company's office in Johannesburg, although each operation is responsible for the direct management of its employees. Human resource development committees, consisting of both management and employee representatives are in place at all operations. Petra ensures compliance with labour and other legislation in the countries in which it operates. In South Africa this includes: the Constitution, the Labour Relations Act, the Employment Equity Act, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (“MPRDA”) and the Mining Charter. In Tanzania, the management of human resources is covered by the country’s Employment and Labour Relations Act (2004), the Labour Institutions Act (2004), the Occupational Health and Safety Act (2003), and the Workers’ Compensation Fund Act (2008).

Fair, sustained employment

Petra is committed to being a good employer and to applying fair and equitable labour practices in compliance with legislation. At the close of the financial year under review, Petra employed a total of 4,609 people, comprising 3,902 permanent employees and 707 contractors in South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana.

Total number of employees and contractors as at 30 June 2011
Operation Permanent Contractors Total Permanent Contractors Total
  2011 2010
Cullinan 1026 1026 948 948
Koffiefontein 447 71 518 505 505
Kimberley Underground 518 51 416 416
Helam 557 6 563 507 507
Sedibeng 479 4 483 494 494
Star 229 229 199 199
Williamson 577 625 1202 591 662 1253
Botswana 5 5 5  
Head office 64 1 65 48 2 50
Total 3902 707 4609 3713 664 4377

Employment equity and diversity

Petra Diamonds adheres to an employment equity policy. All mines have Employment Equity Committees that monitor employment equity plans, which detail the identified barriers and affirmative measures to be implemented.

In FY 2011, two trainers per mine were trained in diversity management. These trainers will, in turn, administer workshops to all employees about diversity issues. The Company has also planned a diversity management workshop for senior management.

Women in mining

In South Africa, the role of women in mining is approached from the perspective of the Mining Charter, with the aim of filling available positions with suitably qualified women candidates. The challenge is to attract skilled women and retain the ones already employed. Diversity management training assists by sensitising management and employees about issues affecting women in mining. Petra is regularly in consultation with union structures that represent women in mining. Petra has a policy in place which offers safeguards to female employees during pregnancy and after childbirth. The employment equity policy also offers protection to female employees in the industry.

There are no specific guidelines regarding women in mining and other sectors in Tanzania. However, the National Employment Promotion Services Act (No.9 of 1998), encourages employment of disadvantaged groups, including women. In addition, section 7 (6) (a) of this Act clearly stipulates that it is not discrimination for the employer to take affirmative action measures consistent with the promotion of equality or elimination of discrimination in the workplace.

Labour relations

Petra recognises the right of every employee to freedom of association and to join a trade union of their choice to collectively represent their interests.

South Africa

Petra undertakes collective bargaining in compliance with the Labour Relations Act and subscribes to the centralised bargaining process with the National Union of Mineworkers (“NUM”), the union that has majority representation in the Company. Petra has recognition and wage agreements in place for the period 2011 to 2013 at a group level with NUM. The intention is to conclude operational agreements with the Solidarity and UASA unions wherever they have sufficient representation. Union representation across the Company is as follows.

Union representation in South Africa
Union Percentage
  FY 2011 FY 2010
No union 23% 28%
NUM 59% 62%
Solidarity 13% 7%
UASA 5% 3%
Total 100% 100%

In FY 2011, the number of days lost due to unprotected industrial action was 138 ‘man days’.


There is a signed recognition agreement between Williamson and the Tanzania Mines, Energy, Construction and Allied Workers Union (“TAMICO”). Wage negotiations are governed by means of a joint voluntary agreement between Williamson and TAMICO and are held annually. Approximately 86% of the labour force in Tanzania is unionised.

Training and development

Petra believes a company is only as good as its people. A well-trained, informed and educated workforce means a workforce that is motivated, competent, committed and safe. The major spin off of such a workforce is increased and improved production and, by extension, a healthy, long-lasting company. It therefore makes good sense all round for training and development to be an integral part of a company’s overall business strategy. Petra is committed to the skills development of its employees in order to meet the current and future skills needs of the organisation.

Through skills development, Petra strives to:

  • uplift the level of education of all employees;
  • prepare employees, where possible, for future promotion;
  • equip all employees with the skills and knowledge required to perform better than the expected standard;
  • develop employees to their maximum potential within the Company’s requirements and capabilities; and
  • improve productivity and profitability for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Furthermore, Petra endeavours to:

  • develop those employees who demonstrate their commitment to training and development;
  • eliminate all forms of discrimination in terms of race, gender and creed, in line with employment equity and Mining Charter goals and targets;
  • develop a career path for employees at all levels within the company;
  • fill vacancies from within the company as far as possible (depending on the availability of skills and experience);
  • promote employees on the basis of merit; and
  • develop employees who demonstrate the ability to meet specified performance standards.

Petra’s skills development policy provides a broad framework for the group and the starting point for the development of each operation’s workplace skills plan (“WSP”). WSPs comprise the priority training interventions to be undertaken by the company in a specific time period. WSPs are updated annually and submitted to the Mining Qualifications Authority of South Africa.

The Company also works in compliance with each operation’s social and labour plan (“SLP”), which requires every discipline to have an established career path.

Petra accepts financial responsibility for employee education, where that education is approved and required by the company. Employees may also qualify for subsidised self-improvement education.

Main areas of expenditure in training and development are:

  • technical training learnerships;
  • core and non-core training provided by external training providers to enhance employee proficiency; and
  • internal training as required by law: Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) training, mining skills training, driver and machine operator training.

During the year under review, Petra’s training and development spend in South Africa amounted to R17,427,436 (FY 2010: R14,251,035). Of this total, spend on bursaries accounted for R1,139,363 in FY 2011 (FY 2010: R472,689) and spend on the group’s leadership development programme was R2,116,038 (FY 2010: R1,591,865).

In FY 2011, Petra’s training and development spend in Tanzania amounted to US$26,926 (FY 2010: US$33,859).

Adult basic education and training (ABET)

In line with the South African Mining Charter, Petra is committed to increasing the literacy levels of its employees through adult basic education and training (“ABET”). It is estimated that 78% of the South African workforce is functionally literate and numerate – defined as having attained an ABET Level 3 qualification, equivalent to nine years of formal schooling. In Tanzania, where Williamson mine is located, the workforce has a much higher level of basic education, and it is estimated that 95% of Williamson employees are functionally literate and numerate.

Though previous estimates suggested that the percentage of illiterate employees was 22%, recent assessments indicate that this has increased to approximately 29%.

Percentage of functionally illiterate employees per operation in FY 2011
Operation Percentage of functionally illiterate employees
Cullinan 29%
Koffiefontein 24%
Kimberley Underground 36%
Sedibeng 29%
Star 34%
Helam 24%
Williamson 5%*

* In Tanzania, the local workforce has a much higher level of basic education and it is estimated that 95% of the employees at Williamson are functionally literate and numerate.

ABET is provided to employees on a voluntary, part-time basis. Four of Petra’s mines have classrooms on site and are staffed with a trained ABET facilitator, while the adult education specialist provides material and carries out assessments. The remaining operations make use of the community-based ABET centres in the surrounding communities. The operations provide financial and developmental support to the centres, as well as a continuous supply of students, and assist with transporting employees to and from the centres.


  • Cullinan: Cullinan has fully-equipped classrooms and a full-time facilitator. Currently, ten employees and eight contractors are participating in ABET training.
  • Koffiefontein: Koffiefontein has a computer training facility with 16 computers for ABET, located at the mine entrance for easy access. Currently, 16 employees are attending classes while others are being assessed.
  • Kimberley Underground: Wesselton Shaft has two dedicated ABET classrooms for ten learners, while Joint Shaft has two shared classrooms for 12 learners.
  • Sedibeng: Sedibeng has a computer room with four computers which is available for ABET learners. A total of 31 employees use a separate classroom for ABET training.
  • Star and Helam: These two mines have no on-site facilities but make use of their local ABET centre.

Leadership development programme

Petra’s leadership development programme (“LDP”) is an important strategic tool to assist the organisation in the identification and development of employees who display the potential to fulfil leadership positions at various levels in the future. The programme helps equip participants with appropriate skills to hone their abilities. The LDP is under continuous review and customisation to align it with the Petra leadership strategy, thus ensuring that Petra remains competitive in a rapidly-changing business environment.

In June 2011, the first group of 18 participants who started out on the programme in 2008 graduated at a function held at Avianto in Johannesburg. This represented a landmark event for the LDP, with Petra’s CEO Johan Dippenaar and other key members of Petra’s management team present. Acknowledgement was given to the success and value-adding nature of the programme and to the hard work put in by the high-calibre graduates.

One of the best indicators of the success of the LDP is the number of participants who receive promotions, not just at completion of the programme but during it. Over the last three years, 19 participants received promotions, while five are acting in a more senior capacity than their actual position.

The Cullinan group represents the only first year intake for 2010. The group performed exceptionally well, obtaining the highest mark to date for a first-year group (77%), and winning the Presentation of the Year Award for FY 2011. The combined second year group achieved 78% for their assignment, and secured the Group of the Year Award.

LDP and historically disadvantaged South Africans

Petra is committed to bringing about transformation in the mining industry and the LDP helps the Company to identify and develop high potential historically disadvantaged South Africans (“HDSAs”).

Leadership category HDSA profile per operation in FY 2011
  Designated groups Non-designated group
  Male Female Male
  African Coloured African Coloured White White
Cullinan 13 1 6 2 1
Koffiefontein 3 2 0 2 3 2
Kimberley Underground 2 3 5
Sedibeng 2 1 0 1 3
Helam 4 2 0
Total 24 4 11 2 6 11

A total of 47 participants in the LDP (81%) are from designated HDSA groups as described by employment equity regulations and the Mining Charter, and 41 candidates (71%) are from non-white groups of South Africa. Exceptional performance by participants from the designated groups was experienced during FY 2011, with nine LDP members of the non-white groups and 13 from the designated groups among the top five candidates for each course year.

The shortage of females in technical fields remains a challenge. However, the FY 2011 female candidate component is increasing. To date, females constitute 33% (19 participants) of the total profile. Of the 14 female participants on the LDP at the end of June 2011, eight were among the top five performers for each course year, representing 53% of the top 15 performers.

Performance and career development reviews

Participants in the LDP receive regular performance and career development reviews. These include annual assessments by supervisors, mentors and the project team, as well as self evaluation. Personal development plans are reviewed, discussed and signed off each year at the beginning of the programme cycle by participants, their mentors and supervisors. Progress is also assessed through the submission of two individual assignments and a group assignment and presentation.

Portable skills training

Portable skills training is an important component of Petra’s operational SLPs. These programmes provide interested employees, especially those nearing retirement, with an opportunity to learn another skill, thereby improving their income generation opportunities. Training on offer includes carpentry, air conditioning repairs, computer skills, plumbing and brick-making. Employees thus acquire a portable skill, which may prove useful upon leaving the mining industry. These programmes are also open to the local community to assist with wider skills development.

For more information on the portable skills training undertaken at Koffiefontein, see the case study, Supporting life-long learning: Portable skills training at Koffiefontein.

Bursary schemes

Petra’s bursary scheme aims to meet the targets outlined in each operation’s SLP on a continuous basis.

Current Bursary allocation:
Name Discipline Gender Race Mine allocation
Ofense Debetse 3rd Year Mining Engineer Female Black KUM
JP De Beer 2nd Year Mechanical Engineer Male White Cullinan
Tumelo Mello Mechanical Engineering Male Black Koffiefontein
Talent Maluleke Mechanical Engineering Male Black Star
Nonhlanhla Baloyi Mining Engineering Female Black Cullinan
Kgaogelo (Oscar) Nkwana Mining Engineering Male Black Cullinan
Lesego Magodielo Mining Engineering Male Black Helam

Accommodation and living conditions

Petra does not have a group policy or strategy regarding accommodation or living conditions but there is a policy in place wherever a mine has accommodation facilities. The Company, in consultation with unions, is in the process of developing a home ownership scheme.

The total number of employees residing at hostels is 345 or 10% of the total number of employees across the Company, divided up per operation according to the table below.

Employees residing at company hostels in FY 2011
Operation Number of employees Percentage
Cullinan 110 10%
Helam 166 38%
Sedibeng 16 3%
Star 53 22%

There are no hostels at Koffiefontein, Kimberley Underground or Williamson.

Cullinan has the only hostel that is fully upgraded. The intention is to finally close down the hostels and demolish the structures. The number of hostel residents is gradually dwindling through a process of attrition, since no new residents are being admitted.

Company houses are provided at Star and Helam on mine premises, while houses at Koffiefontein are provided outside the mine premises and in town.

Case studies

Portable skills training at Koffiefontein

Petra Diamonds' Koffiefontein mine initiated its portable skills programme in 2009 and, since then, the programme has gone from strength to strength. Employees who participate in the programme learn skills different to those used in their everyday work: skills that may be applied to another area of the mining industry, to facets of their lives beyond the workplace, or taken with them if and when they leave the mine, thus increasing their employability. Read case study


The following GRI indicators are covered in this section:

Economic performance
Coverage of the organisation’s defined benefit plan obligations
Labour practices and decent work
Management approach
Total workforce by employment type, contract and region
Labour/management relations
Percentage of employees covered by collective bargaining agreements
Training and education
Average hours of training per year per employee per category
Programmes for skills management and lifelong learning that support the continued employability of employees and assist them in managing career endings
Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews
Diversity and equal opportunity
Composition of governance bodies and breakdown of employees per category according to gender, age group, minority group membership, and other indicators of diversity
Total number of incidents of discrimination and actions taken