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Social and labour impact


We foster an inclusive, young, dynamic, honest and transparent culture. We share a common goal and have a good work ethic. Our employees take accountability for and ownership of their delegated responsibilities and we demand that contractors do likewise.

Key indicators
    FY16   FY15  
Permanent employees*   108   104  
Interns/graduates   43   57  
Contract employees   717   1 272  
Total employees   868   1 433  
Female employees   121   184  
Number of employees hired/(terminated) including contractors   565   253  
Percentage of employees represented by unions (%)   43   31  
Total training spend (Rm)   7 882 297   6 418 017  

* This includes Non-Executive Directors.

Movement in employee numbers (Keaton Energy staff only)
Vanggatfontein   Vaalkrantz   Total  
Permanent employees at 31 March 2015   29   15   52   96  
Non-Executive Directors   8   –   –   8  
Appointments   4   4   6   14  
Resignations   (3)  (1)  (4) 
Dismissals   –   (1)   (3)  (4) 
Ill health   –   –   (1)  (1) 
Abscondment   –   –   (1)  (1) 
Transfer   –  1   (1)   –  
Permanent employees at 31 March 2015   30   18   52   100  
Non-Executive Directors 31 March 2016   8   –   –   8  

Vanggatfontein   Vaalkrantz   Total  
New engagements          
Male   3   1   5   9  
Female   1   3   1   5  
Male   –   1   4   5  
Female   3   1   –   4  
Male   –   –   1   1  
Female   –   –   –   –  
Male   –   –   –   –  
Female   –   1   (1)   –  

Human capital management is the responsibility of the Group Human Capital Manager. Our human resource policies assist line managers and employees in understanding workplace policies, procedures and behaviour. Copies of the policies are provided to all employees during induction.

The continuous audits performed by both internal and external audit found that all Keaton Energy’s human resources policies comply with all minimum standards as per South African Labour Law.

Where any changes or updates are required due to legislative changes, the Group Human Capital Manager, as mandated by EXCO, amends the policies. All amendments are communicated in writing to all employees. Minimum notice periods regarding operational changes are provided for in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, which is applied when applicable.

Our recruitment strategy is aligned to local recruitment within the geographical areas in which we operate. Only when the required skills are not available locally would we consider candidates from other geographical areas. Currently Keaton Energy does not directly employ migrant labour.

    Total staff for the group by employment level as at 31 March 2016  
     Female Male         
    A   C   I   W   Total 
A   C   I   W   Total  
Top managment     1         1   2   1         7   8   10   20   20  
Senior management           1   2   3   3         4   7   10   40   30  
Middle management     1         1   2   4         5   9   11   45   18  
Junior management     4   1   1   4   10   4         6   10   20   50   50  
Other     18         2   20   37            37   57   96   35  
Grand total     24   1   2   10   37   49         22   71   108   70   34  
A African; C Coloured; I Indian; W White  

Labour relations

The group supports every employee’s right to belong to a union and demonstrates this through an open and transparent relationship with all unions and their representatives.

For the reporting period, union membership among Keaton Energy employees remained stable, while at both Vaalkrantz and Vanggatfontein collieries union membership among contractor employees shows continued growth on a year-on-year basis.

Workplace     Union membership % of workforce unionised
    FY16   FY15   FY16   FY15  
Keaton Energy head office     –   –   –   –  
Vaalkrantz Colliery     154   280   41.9   31.7  
– Contractor employed     117   244   58.5   30.7  
– Keaton energy employed   37   36   71.1   69.2  
Vanggatfontein Colliery    223   167   40.5   32.5  
– Contractor employed      223   167   43.4   34.9  
– Keaton energy employed     –   –   –   –  

The company does not use the services of labour brokers.

In terms of recognition agreements with AMCU and NUM at Vaalkrantz Colliery, Keaton Energy negotiates annually regarding conditions of employment.

Contractors engage autonomously with unions within their workplaces which include SATAWU, AMCU and NUM at Vaalkrantz Colliery and AMCU and NUM at Vanggatfontein Colliery.

Wage agreements are applied fairly across the workforce, irrespective of gender, race or union membership.

The disciplinary system applies to all employees of the company. Our Disciplinary Policy is aimed at leading our employees towards an improved work attitude and responsibility. Disciplinary measures are therefore used to correct rather than punish. All employees are expected to be conversant with the policy and to this end it is communicated in their on-boarding process and forms part of their terms and conditions of employment. Furthermore, managers responsible for maintaining discipline are trained by a human resources functionary in interpreting the policy and applying the related procedures.

Our Grievance Policy and procedures are founded on the principle that it is in the interests of both employees and employer to observe a grievance procedure to resolve any dissatisfaction or feeling of injustice regarding an employee’s work or employment situation. Employees and their representatives will not suffer any prejudice as a consequence of lodging a grievance in terms of this procedure. We consider a grievance to be any matter of concern to an employee or group of employees arising out of the working situation, but excluding any issue which is required to be dealt with by the company and a recognised trade union, as well as any grievance of an individual or individuals over disciplinary action by management or an alleged unfair dismissal. No grievances were filed during the reporting period.

Skills development

We regard employee training and development as a key enabler of achieving our strategic, business and operational goals. Our total investment in training spend (including that spent by contractors) for the year was R7.9 million (FY15: R6.4 million). The increase in spend is due to the inclusion of SLP and internship spend. During the year, both Keaton Mining and LME continued training 21 work experience learning students, 20 graduate interns and 18 apprentices. An additional eight section 18.2 apprentices were enrolled in the training programme to address the Keaton Mining compliance requirements. Most of the training spend was directed to these beneficiaries. Their training involved both on-the-job and off-the-job training. Both Keaton Mining and LME continued to support 22 bursars sourced predominantly from within the mines’ host communities (11 at each mine), of which 45% are women. Funding for these bursaries during the year amounted to R2 million.

We encourage employees to participate in bursary schemes as well as Keaton Energy-funded short courses to increase skills levels. Internal staff training and development is managed by the Group Human Capital Manager with external training and development managed by the Group SLP Manager through the group’s SLP commitments as regulated by the MPRDA. Our average hours of training and training expenditure are summarised below:

    FY16  FY15  FY14  FY13  FY12 
Total training expenditure (rand)     9 893 449* 6 418 017* 6 418 017* 694 215  694 215 
Training expenditure as percentage of payroll (%)   15  3.7  3.2  5.0   1.0 
Keaton energy employed     21  24  16  16  16 
* Includes SLP spend on bursaries, internships and apprenticeship training.

Total staff training for the group by category level as at 31 March 2016

    Female Male  
    A C I W Total
A C I W Total
Directors and corporate managers   1 1 1
Professionals   1 1 3 2 5 6 67 17
Managers legislators and senior officials   3 3 1 1 2 5 20 60
Technicians and trade workers   1 1 2 2 50 100
Junior clerical and administrative workers   2 3 5 2 3 5 10 40 50
Sales workers  
Machine operators and drivers   6 6 15 1 16 22 95 27
Elementary workers   3 3 6 6 9 100 33
Grand total   12 1 7 20 27 8 35 55 73 36
A African; C Coloured; I Indian; W White  

The table above highlights the number of permanent employees who benefited from the training provided during the period under review.

Our human resource development plan is implemented and aligned with training and development budgets. In turn, our human resource development plan is aligned with our employment equity plan which supports our succession plan initiatives.

One of our biggest human capital development challenges is maintaining the balance between employee career aspirations, the demands of changing operational requirements and portable skills training. Keaton Energy’s skills development programmes provide technical skills that are portable within the mining industry. These include occupational health and safety and training for specific operational functions.

Decision-making processes pertaining to the awarding of bursaries, work integrated learning opportunities and apprenticeships are informed by the commitment to building sustainable communities. As such, preference is given to the academic and skills development of host community beneficiaries although this approach does not specifically exclude beneficiaries from the rest of South Africa. With regard to local economic development initiatives that are incorporated in the SLP, the group prioritises investment in infrastructure development projects that benefit the broader host community rather than a few individuals.

Individual performance is assessed in terms of a scorecard of key performance areas, which are derived from existing job descriptions and are aligned to the overall performance measures of the group. The performance management scorecard and the assessment process also provide an opportunity to comment on developmental plans for the individual employees. See the Remuneration Committee Report for further details (Pdf 99KB).

Case study - Upskilling women in mining

Case study

Supporting women in mining

Last year we reported on Ntando Mtolo from Pietermaritzburg, KZN who is one of our bursary programme beneficiaries. She is currently enrolled as part of Keaton Energy’s Graduate Development Programme, and has completed a year at Vaalkrantz Colliery in KZN where she received a permanent blasting certificate. Following this achievement, Ntando undertook the task of responsible miner under the guidance of an experienced underground manager. This entails taking charge of a production section in all respects. This forms part of her preparation for the Mine Manager’s Certificate of Competence examinations. Ntando is excited to be part of the evolution in mining which includes increased mechanisation and innovation as well as the increased participation of women.

Social investment

We strive to minimise potentially negative social impacts while promoting opportunities for the local communities in our areas of operation. To achieve this, we monitor, measure and manage our social and economic impacts in terms of SLPs, which are reported annually to the DMR in terms of the MPRDA.

Mine management is proactive in building and maintaining stakeholder relationships with the local communities through the future forums where community representatives, mine management, contractor management, employees, the local municipality, and representatives of traditional authorities are represented. Community representatives and traditional authority representatives are elected by the relevant ward or traditional structures. The Future Forum sits once a month and minutes of meetings serve as an official record of proceedings. Any grievances that cannot be resolved at forum level are escalated to mine management and if again not resolved, to the group EXCO.

Our strategy for social and economic advancement of host communities is informed by the local municipality’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP), and is translated into action through local initiatives incorporated into each mine’s SLP. Key initiatives include local economic development projects, bursary awards to local qualifying Grade 12 graduates, internships, work integrated learning opportunities, and apprenticeship opportunities for youths.

Keaton responds to additional community needs, not included in the IDP, working directly with host communities and not through charitable organisations.

The following community upliftment projects were undertaken during the year:

  • Relocation of 19 families from Vanggatfontein farm to the new houses in Delmas. Title deeds to the new houses were handed over to the beneficiaries
  • Eight unemployed youths from Delmas joined the apprenticeship programme at Keaton Mining
  • Completion and handover to beneficiaries of six houses in Mbilane, Vryheid
  • Continued funding of 22 community bursars by both Keaton Mining and LME
  • Continued funding of 18 community apprentices by LME
  • Continued funding of graduate interns and work experience learners by both Keaton Mining and LME
  • Awarding of a coal haulage contract to a local black-owned start-up service provider

Our strategy to improve the CSI component of our Mining Charter scorecard focuses on the award of bursaries, internship opportunities, apprenticeship training, procurement from HDSA-owned local suppliers and development of a talent pipeline to improve the group’s HDSA representation in management. Accordingly, SLP targets have been set for:

  • Bursaries
  • Internships
  • Apprenticeships
  • Procurement.
  • Enterprise development

An electronic data recording and monitoring system has been introduced, which captures all the Mining Charter and SLP-related compliance data. The compliance status of the group can be assessed at any point in time and relevant corrective action taken, if necessary. The system is also complemented by monthly status reviews with the Future Forum and quarterly reviews by EXCO.

Bursars, interns, and apprenticeship/learnership tagerts and actuals

    Vanggatfontein   Vaalkrantz  
    FY16  FY15  FY16  FY15
    Target   Actual   Target   Actual   Target   Actual   Target   Actual  
Bursaries   12   12   7   10   4   10   4   10  
Graduate interns     6   10   3   10   9   10   7   8  
Work experience students (P1 & P2)     6   11   3   10   9   10   8   9  
Apprentices and learnerships     12   8   14   -   18   18   17   18  
Total     36   41   27   30   40   48   36   45  


We acknowledge that integrating genuine transformation that permeates the group is critical for our sustainability in South Africa. Keaton Energy contributes to transformation by increasing the interests of HDSAs in the resources industry. All our operating subsidiaries are fully empowered in line with the requirements of the Mining Charter. HDSAs, including women, are represented as owners and directors of the operating subsidiaries and the holding company, and as employees in senior executive roles in the group.

The group complies with the provisions of the EE Act. All appointments are signed off by the Group Human Capital Manager and the CEO to ensure that the principles of the EE Act continue in force and those HDSAs with the requisite skills are appointed wherever possible.

Our procurement policy encourages giving preference to suitably qualified B-BBEE entities and we specifically support local SMMEs through targeted procurement initiatives. The majority of our operational procurement is consumed by our specialist contractors, who are in turn obligated to exercise Keaton Energy’s procurement preference principles and to report on progress.

Preferential procurement spend


R million   Total  
spend FY16  
spend FY15  
Services rendered        
Capital   15.04   45.46  
Services   731.02   808.03  
Consumables     111.63   143.24  
Total     857.69   996.73  


R million   Total  
spend FY16  
spend FY15  
Services rendered        
Capital   9.53   21.41  
Services   102.44   318.78  
Consumables     63.22   113.81  
Total     175.19   454.00