We recognise diversity, encompassing people from a range of backgrounds, skills and perspectives, as a moral and business imperative, due to the benefits that well-managed diversity brings to all levels of an organisation.
From a regulatory perspective, established and functional Employment Equity Committees are in place at all of our South African mines in accordance with the Employment Equity Act, with membership drawn from employer and employee representatives. These Committees monitor the implementation of Employment Equity Plans, which detail the identified barriers to equitable employment and specify affirmative measures to be implemented by each operation.
Petra held five days of intensive diversity management training sessions in FY 2017 across all levels at its South African operations and attendance increased considerably when compared with the previous year, with a total of 491 employees participating. The aim of this training is to raise awareness about issues pertaining to diversity in the workplace and to empower management and employees with the necessary skills to effectively deal with diversity matters, as well as embrace differences within our working environment.
Whilst not subject to the same regulation and legislation as the South African operations, Williamson in Tanzania has a policy to promote equal opportunity and to eliminate discrimination in the workplace. Williamson also applies affirmative action measures consistent with the promotion of women in mining, particularly during the recruitment process. The Company has procedures in place to ensure that cases related to discrimination can be reported appropriately. During FY 2017, seven cases relating to discrimination were raised by one of the representative trade unions. Upon further investigation, the allegations were found to be related to misconceptions and Petra therefore was able to address the matters fully with the trade union concerned and the incidents are no longer subject to action.
Given the clear business case for gender diversity at all levels of the organisation, we are committed to encouraging women in mining and have a number of initiatives which focus on developing women into managerial positions.
Our aim is to afford women the appropriate training, development and attention to progress within the organisation across all job levels. Petra has a number of initiatives which focus on developing women into managerial positions, such as the LDP, which has since its inception focused on the advancement of women. (28% of participants are female). We are focused on affording women an equal role as part of the next generation of Petra employees, and as a result 43% of our interns, 33% of our engineering learnerships, 31% of our mining learnerships and 26% of our bursars in FY 2017 were female.
Williamson in Tanzania also applies affirmative action measures consistent with the promotion of women in mining, particularly during the recruitment process.
Petra’s Women in Mining Committee (“WIM Committee”) has created a platform for women at Petra’s South African operations to share experiences, identify challenges in the workplace and promote development opportunities.
Petra formed a partnership to support the National Council for People with Physical Disabilities in Southern Africa (“NCPPDSA”) in FY 2014 and the the first initiative was to restore and reopen the Ikageng workshop in Kimberley. A car was also bought and modified for the specific requirements for people with disabilities to transport them between their homes and the workshop.
In FY 2015 we entered into a partnership with the NCPPDSA to create income-generating, self-employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for people with disabilities by establishing a glove-making factory at the workshop.