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Human capital

Northam is nothing without its people. The company is dependent on a healthy, skilled, trained and committed workforce, capable of completing tasks safely and productively. Efforts to develop and empower employees are on-going, and form part of a drive to continuously improve the quality of life of those who sustain the company’s business.



The importance Northam places on the safety and health of its employees cannot be overemphasised. It is a strategic imperative and has been identified as a material issue for the company. Consequently, it is a key performance area for all levels of management and supervisors, and takes precedence over production objectives in every instance.

Northam’s approach to safety and health in the workplace is guided by extensive legislation and regulations, the most significant of which is the Mine Health and Safety Act. At board level, the health, safety and environment committee is responsible for overseeing the various health and safety laws and regulations that affect the group. Zondereinde and Booysendal also have safety and health policies in place, with recognition agreements with organised labour guiding their implementation.

The company’s general managers assume ultimate responsibility for safety and health at the respective operations. At both operations the day-to-day management of safety is delegated to operational management who are, in turn, supported by minebased safety and health departments.

All employees, including those employed by Northam’s contractors, receive safety induction training and are subject to the company’s safety standards.


In an effort to ensure that all safety and health issues are addressed thoroughly and timeously, Northam encourages the participation of employees and management at all levels in such matters. As required by the Mine Health and Safety Act, a joint management/employee representative health and safety committee meets on a monthly basis, or more frequently should this be required.

The committee is responsible for:

In particular, the committee focuses on empowering employees to take responsibility for their own safety and health and that of their co-workers by identifying potentially hazardous situations, and by exercising their right to refuse to work when conditions are unsafe.

Affiliation to a representative union also facilitates employee participation in safety and health related issues. Approximately 83% of the company’s workforce at Zondereinde, and 47% at Booysendal is affiliated to a union and, through these structures, may participate in and contribute to the union’s elected safety and health committees.

The Booysendal operation has a the health, safety and environment committee in place. Committee meetings, which are held monthly, are chaired by the operation’s general manager and attended by two full-time safety and health representatives who have been elected by the workforce. These representatives also attend mine production meetings, where safety-related issues are raised. This year, the primary problems raised included training, underground water, sanitation, PPE and the reporting of incidents.

The build-up of Booysendal towards full production facilitates the installation of a permanent supply of drinking water and sanitation facilities underground. Safety representatives can also be trained now with the establishment of the new on-mine training centre. PPE is supplied through the major contractors and a comprehensive code of practice has been drafted for the allocation of PPE items to occupational specific requirements.


Though Northam makes every effort to ensure the safety of its employees, accidents that result in serious harm do occur from time to time. All incidents and accidents that result in serious harm are taken seriously regardless of the level of injury sustained and continuous effort is directed at reinforcing operating standards and responsibility to remedy sub-standard work.


It is therefore with deep regret that Northam reports the death of one employee during the year under review (F2012: 2). Mr Amose Dlamini, a team leader at Zondereinde, was fatally injured on 27 May 2013 in a fall of ground incident. The board and management extend their deepest sympathies to Mr Dlamini’s family, friends and colleagues.

This fatality came at a time when Zondereinde’s efforts in safety performance had seen continuous improvement and the accomplishment of three significant milestones. On 25 October 2012, the mine achieved one million fatality-free shifts; on 11 February 2013, one million fall of ground fatality-free shifts; and on 22 April 2013, the landmark of two million fatality-free shifts.

During F2013, there were also improvements in Zondereinde’s lost time injury incidence rate (LTIIR) and its reportable injury incidence rates (RIIR). The LTIIR was 1.50 per 200 000 hours worked (F2012: 1.91) and the RIIR was 0.83 per 200 000 hours worked (F2012: 0.88). Zondereinde’s fatal injury incidence rate (FIIR) was 0.01 per 200 000 hours worked (F2012: 0.02). The primary agencies contributing to lost-time injuries (LTIs) at Zondereinde include materials handling (30%), falls of ground (23%), and trucks and tramming (13%).

A total of seven work stoppages at Zondereinde were associated with the imposition of Section 54 notices, and resulted in 18 production days lost. The DMR isolated activities relating to rigging winches; trucking and tramming; and support installation. Another serious concern is the non-adherence to standards. These transgressions are addressed by means of disciplinary action, focusing on training of both individuals and teams, along with line supervisors throughout the mine.

During the year under review, Zondereinde adopted the Mining Industry Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) entry examination and making safe initiative, which focuses on the pro-active identification of risks and hazards by crews in their respective sections. Since the implementation of this initiative, there has been a reduction in fall of ground incidents.


No fatalities were reported at Booysendal in F2013 (F2012: 0) and, on 8 March 2013, the operation achieved the landmark of 1 million fatality-free shifts. Such an accomplishment is testament to the hard work and dedication to safety of everyone on site.

With the completion of the surface construction and the build-up of mining activities, the LTIIR at Booysendal increased to 0.53 per 200 000 hours worked in F2013, an increase from 0.19 per 200 000 hours worked in F2012, and the RIIR was 0.33 per 200 000 hours worked (F2012: 0.05).

Booysendal management has identified falls of ground, working at heights and the operating of trackless machinery as its key safety risks, and recorded 13 LTIs in F2013, of which eight were reportable. The primary causes of LTIs included fall of ground and material handling incidents, which together accounted for 30% of all LTIs respectively. Efforts are under way to address these risks, and to counter their recurrence, through the THINK FALL OF GROUND campaign and general coaching on material handling. Other safety-related challenges during the year include bringing contractors and sub-contractors into line with Northam’s safety standards, and standardising medical exit requirements and safety data files. Of these, 57% of contractor companies comply fully with Northam’s safety standards. The remaining 43% will receive additional training in the first half of F2014.

Booysendal has launched an early examinations initiative known as THINK FALL OF GROUND (which is currently in place at Zondereinde). It provides for officials to go underground every Monday and Friday morning to ensure that employees are entering their worksites safely. Any deviations are rectified immediately. On a weekly basis, senior officials of Northam’s contract miner, Murray & Roberts Cementation (MRC), provide input into the mine’s trigger action response programme which has helped to formalise, and continues to inform the mine’s safety initiatives. Booysendal has also introduced fatigue breaks into employees’ shifts.




An integrated and holistic health care service is offered to all Northam employees at Zondereinde through Suremed® for primary health care and Life Occupational Health for occupational health services. Suremed® operates facilities both on site and in the employee village nearby which are available to all employees and contractors. All services are offered free of charge to employees who contribute to the schemes, and include on-site paramedics with emergency response vehicles, social workers and physiotherapists. A network of doctors, specialists and dentists is also contracted through the scheme. In addition, five hospitals are available to employees in the area, as well as the Netcare and Life network of hospitals country-wide.

The mine’s occupational health programmes cover: wellness, medical surveillance, injury-on-duty management, occupational and chronic disease management, rehabilitation and back-to-work programmes, and emergency care.

Zondereinde also has a comprehensive TB and HIV/ Aids management programme in place, administered by Suremed®.


Booysendal’s medical facilities are located at the Mashishing medical station. Negotiations are currently in place with Suremed® to obtain the services of a senior professional health practitioner on site on a weekly basis. The Suremed® scheme offers health care services to Northam employees, contractors and their dependents at Booysendal, 911 emergency services are permanently stationed. Their services include:

Through the Suremed® Medical Scheme, employee families in Lydenburg, Middelburg and Nelspruit also have access to these facilities, as do families in the Burgersfort and Steelpoort areas.



Some 12 500 medical surveillance examinations were undertaken at Zondereinde during the year (F2012: 10 740), 1 231 of which were entry, 2 263 of which were exits, and 9 006 of which were annual examinations.

NIHL has been identified as Zondereinde’s primary health risk, and the MOSH leading practice for the reduction of NIHL has been adopted to deal with this.

During the year, Zondereinde also implemented the Q-Med electronic database for the improved management of health information.


Booysendal conducted a total of 9 586 medical surveillance examinations during F2013.

These examinations revealed obesity, hypertension, diabetes, NIHL and fatigue as Booysendal’s primary health risks, and a comprehensive wellness programme has been implemented as a result. This programme covers a number of different areas, including:


Northam has a comprehensive HIV/Aids policy in place which covers employee care, education programmes, information confidentiality and non-discrimination. All employees have access to VCT and ART, as well as to professional counselling and support. The Northam HIV/Aids programme is focused on the following priorities:


Zondereinde’s HIV/Aids programme is well established and extensive, comprising health education, on-going campaigning, clinical management and laboratory investigations. The clinical management component includes VCT, pre- and post-test counselling, adherence testing and counselling, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and HIV treatment. The laboratory investigations include haematology, and CD4 count, viral load, rapid plasma regain and hepatitis B surface antigen testing.

During the year under review, 1 088 Zondereinde employees registered on the VCT programme (F2012: 1 659), with 214 individuals testing positive. A total of 1 649 are currently participating in Northam’s wellness programme.

Zondereinde’s peer educator group consists of 10 employees who form part of the support structure for employees infected and affected by HIV/Aids, providing counselling and training. They also refer individuals to medical practitioners for further advice and treatment.


Booysendal’s HIV/Aids peer educator group is managed by one of its core contractors, Minopex. Efforts are under way to employ someone to facilitate this process for the rest of the operation. At present, Minopex aims to:

Booysendal does not record the number of employees who take part in VCT or are on ART. This information is kept confidential.


TB is a significant health risk within southern Africa, especially since the symbiotic relationship between TB and HIV exacerbates the incidence of both illnesses. As a result, Northam runs a highly effective directly observed treatment regime for the treatment of TB at Zondereinde. This regime is aligned with the TB guidelines of the World Health Organisation.


The total number of employees receiving treatment for TB during the year amounted to 762 (F2012: 644), with 107 cases detected and referred for compensation (F2012: 85).


A total of two new cases of TB were identified at Booysendal in F2013 and submitted for compensation (F2012: 2).


As required by law, the noise levels associated with underground equipment at Northam’s operations are contained below 110dBA. All employees are also issued with PPE to ensure that any exposure to noise levels above 85dBA over an extended period of time is limited.


At Zondereinde, 43 incidences of NIHL were detected and referred for compensation (F2012: 44), 25 of which have already received compensation.


Booysendal has a hearing awareness campaign in place, as well as a hearing conservation committee, which holds quarterly meetings. There were 21 cases of NIHL reported at Booysendal during the year (F2012: 37). The treatment those affected receive is in line with the WHO guidelines.


Northam’s Zondereinde mine makes use of hydropower, particularly in the powering of rock drills. This methodology reduces the level to which employees are exposed to noise, while also helping to reduce dust generation. As the rock mined in the Bushveld Complex does not contain quartz, the threat of silicosis and occupational lung disease (OLD) is eliminated. There were no instances of OLD reported at Zondereinde nor Booysendal during the year.


Northam upholds the basic labour rights enshrined in the Fundamental Rights Convention of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which serves to ensure the implementation of fair employment practices at all of its operations. The company’s policies and practices operate in compliance with South Africa’s employment equity requirements, and ensure that all employees are treated fairly, irrespective of origin, race or gender.


Zondereinde is currently Northam’s primary revenue-generating asset, and the majority of the company’s employees are based there. The corporate human resources and transformation manager is tasked with overall responsibility for employment equity and is therefore responsible for providing strategic direction and priorities in respect of equity and transformation. Each operational unit, viz Zondereinde and Booysendal, has a senior manager in place who is tasked with overseeing the operation’s human resources function, and who reports to his or her general manager. The general managers and the company’s chief executive officer hold ultimate responsibility for the management of human capital, with board-level oversight of this function resting with the social, ethics and human resources committee.

The social, ethics and human resources committee is responsible for ensuring that employees are equitably and fairly rewarded, according to Northam’s standards and relative to their industry peers. The committee complies with the Companies Act in terms of its social and ethics obligations and also governs the employment contracts and remuneration packages of senior management, ratifies their appointments, approves any short-term incentive schemes and bonuses, and oversees the granting of shares in terms of the rules of the Northam Share Incentive Plan. The setting of mandates with regards to trade union negotiations is also within the committee’s portfolio, as is the company’s implementation of and compliance with the requirements of the Employment Equity Act.

At the Zondereinde and Booysendal operations, the mine-based human resources departments are responsible for driving the implementation and achievement of Northam’s human resources priorities, including all aspects of the Mining Charter. Other areas of focus include:


Northam is committed to fair and progressive employment practices, providing long-term employment opportunities with the scope for employees to grow and develop their potential. The company’s remuneration practices take into account the demanding and innovative skill to nature of working in the mining industry and the difficulty of attracting HDSA skills to remote locations of operations. Benefits provided to full-time employees include:

Northam’s employment practices and policies are governed by the legislation and regulations that have evolved over many years in South Africa’s sophisticated labour relations environment.

These include:

In August 2008, Northam established the Toro Employee Empowerment Trust, which represents the interests of some 6 700 employees or 96.9% of the company’s Zondereinde employees who form part of grades 2 to 10. During F2013, Northam contributed R24 million (F2012: R10.8 million) to the trust. The trust’s net income for the year was R4.3 million (F2012: R3.7 million) and the net interest of the beneficiaries at 30 June 2013 was R108.3 million (F2012: R95.4 million). To date, the trust has received profits from the company of R116.4 million.

The trust will distribute benefits to employees in three stages – in 2013, 2018 and 2023. Employees will receive their first pay-out at the end of September 2013. During the year, the company launched an internal communications campaign to educate employees on the following:


Employment equity legislation in South Africa is aimed at redressing the imbalances of the past by promoting equal opportunity, eliminating discrimination and implementing affirmative action measures. Current legislation in this regard calls for greater participation of black South Africans and women in the economy. This has been adopted by the Mining Charter which requires that HDSA employees make up 40% of management by 2014. The attraction and retention of HDSAs and women in management continues to be a significant challenge for the mining sector particularly in remote areas. Incentive schemes have been implemented across the sector to address this issue. This has meant, however, that smaller companies are often not able to compete with the remuneration packages offered by their larger competitors.

The remote location of mining operations is also a significant deterrent for the younger generations of HDSAs and women. Filling core positions with individuals with the necessary skill sets from these groups remains a challenge. This is exacerbated by the fact that HDSA and female university graduates appear to be absorbed by companies in locations closer to urban centres.

Northam has an employment equity programme in place that works in compliance with all applicable legislative requirements, specifically the Mining Charter and the Employment Equity Act. The company submits its equity plans and progress to the Department of Labour (DoL) every year.

The transformation priorities are informed by the constructive, productive and sustainable working relationship with organised labour as well as key stakeholders. Structures have been defined and are closely managed to ensure efficiency and focus on the implementation of important initiatives.

The employment equity and training committee structure, though equitably and transparently constituted, has had significant challenges in successfully achieving its objectives. The company is currently engaging with recognised organised labour structures and DoL officials in trying to address these challenges and effectively achieve requisite goals and targets. At the end of F2013, the representation of HDSAs in management for the group was 36.75% at Zondereinde and 31.2% at Booysendal (F2012: 35%).


In August 2012, shareholders were advised of a proposed restructuring of Northam’s BEE shareholding. Since then, the company has proposed an ‘A’ class share scheme to the DMR. This is to be held by BEE trusts and is aimed at restoring Northam’s BEE shareholding, which currently stands at 4%, to 26%. The company has not yet received a formal written response from the DMR in this regard and will continue to update shareholders as the process develops.


The employment equity and training committee drives Northam’s engagement and consultation with its female employees at Zondereinde, as does consultation with local branch structures of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). These structures have identified the following major barriers and challenges:

As a means of addressing these challenges, Northam continues to implement the following interventions:

As at 30 June 2013, Northam employed 469 women (F2012: 473), of whom 251 were working in the core disciplines of mining, metallurgy and engineering. During the year, women made up 6.78% of the workforce at Zondereinde (F2012: 7%).

It is Northam’s policy that remuneration is based on skills, expertise and experience, and not on race or gender. There were no material differences in the range of minimum wages of men to women during the year.


Northam provides employee training on its policies and procedures regarding aspects of human rights at least once within every 18-month period. Some 91% of Zondereinde and 100% of Booysendal employees and contractors received human rights training during the year under review. Northam has a robust system in place to deal with discrimination and human rights breaches.

Minimum notice periods in respect of operational changes and rates of pay for men and women are prescribed by legislation.

A particular concern for the company in its recruitment and retention of female employees is the risk of sexual harassment, which is prohibited in terms of a sexual harassment policy. Grievance procedures are well established and serve to facilitate the lodging of complaints.

At the end of F2013, one incident of discrimination was raised by a female employee at Zondereinde. The case related to a possible instance of sexual harassment, and was dealt with according to the company’s grievance procedure. There was also one incident of discrimination reported at Booysendal. This was addressed through all the correct channels and the employee responsible for the incident was dismissed.


Northam upholds the right for its employees, contractors and suppliers to exercise freedom of association and collective bargaining. This is in compliance with the South African Constitution, prescribed legislation, industry compacts and recognition agreements with unions. As a minimum, wages and other conditions of service are negotiated on an annual basis. Unions registered with the DoL that represent at least 15% in any particular bargaining unit receive organisational rights which include:

Once a registered union reaches a representivity threshold of 33.3% within a bargaining unit, it acquires the right to bargain for that particular unit. Northam recognises that it is appropriate to engage with any registered employee body that meets these thresholds. Parties are required to engage with each other in good faith for the purposes of concluding a satisfactory agreement on matters such as wages, substantive conditions of service and other matters of mutual interest.

At Zondereinde, employees are divided into three bargaining units. Categories 2-8 comprise operator level employees, category 9 miners and artisans, and category 10 officials. Some 83% of the workforce in these bargaining units are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

Union Categories
% Category
% Category
% Total %
Complement 6 058   401   363   6 822  
NUM 5 085 83.94 160 39.90 123 33.88 5 368 78.69
Solidarity 21 0.35 102 25.44 122 33.61 245 3.59
UASA 10 0.17 59 14.71 44 12.12 113 1.66
Total 5 116 84.45 321 80.05 289 79.61 5 726 83.93

At Booysendal, MRC is currently unionised and holds regular structured meetings with NUM while Minopex holds employee forum meetings from time to time.

In April 2013 Zondereinde’s rock drill operators declared a dispute with management, which centred on the payment methodology of production-related bonuses. The dispute evolved into an unprocedural strike which lasted for 17 days before a resolution was reached. Approximately 17 000 production ounces were lost, resulting in revenue losses of R192 million, and the loss of wages of R1.2 million for the affected employees.

There was no industrial action at Booysendal.

Northam has a contingency plan and strategy in place to deal with strike action, be it protected or unprotected. This includes opening the channels of communication with unions, employees, shareholders and investors, labour relations experts, mediators and facilitators, security services, and the media. The company also acts in the spirit of and in compliance with the Labour Relations Act and makes use of established processes, inclusive of legal relief when necessary, to bring any form of strike action to a swift resolution.


Northam has formal structures in place to facilitate the consultation that takes place with organised labour. These structures include:

PPE is supplied through the major contractors and a comprehensive code of practice has been drafted for the allocation of PPE items to occupational specific requirements.


During F2013, Northam employed 11 081 employees, including 18 people at corporate office.


As at the end of June F2013, Zondereinde employed 6 916 full-time employees and 2 232 contractors (F2012: 6 861 full-time employees and 2 302 contractors). The operation’s turnover rate for F2013 was 1%.

Some 6.0% of Zondereinde’s permanent workforce and 9.3% of its contractors are drawn from the local Thabazimbi municipal area. The company is in regular communication with the office of the mayor of each relevant municipality, Thabazimbi in particular. This consultation process allows a forum for the municipalities’ and the company’s priorities, and for the challenges facing local recruitment to be discussed and addressed. The following key issues were dealt with during the year:

Some 32.1% of Zondereinde’s permanent workforce, and 41.7% of its contractors, are made up of migrant labourers. These labourers are sourced from South African provinces other than Limpopo and the North West. The operation’s foreign labour workforce, that is, employees drawn from beyond South Africa’s borders, makes up 30.9% of Zondereinde’s permanent employees and 16.5% of its contractors.


At the end of June 2013, Booysendal employed a total of 1 915 people (F2012: 2 468), 143 of whom were permanent employees and 1 772 contractors. The decline in total employment numbers at Booysendal is attributable to the completion of surface infrastructure and the demobilisation of construction crews. The operation’s employee turnover rate for F2013 was 2.5%.

Booysendal has recruited 64% of its workforce from local communities, as part of its commitment in its SLP. In addition, all contractors on site are obliged to commit to the company’s local recruitment targets. On a monthly basis, contractors submit a report to Booysendal’s human resources manager, detailing the number of local employees, resignations and terminations.

Given the preference that the employment policies of Booysendal and its contractors give to local employees and to South African citizens, the employment of migrant labourers is not promoted, particularly in the mine’s unskilled categories. This is closely monitored by the Booysendal human resources department.


Northam takes its direction from the MPRDA in respect of the provision of housing and accommodation for employees and contractors.


As the majority of the company’s workforce come from labour-sending areas, they have indicated a clear preference not to be permanently housed in the area. Of the 9 148 employees at Zondereinde, 3 270 live in hostels provided by the company and 2 785 are provided with a living-out allowance.

Many employees, however, have their primary homes and families in other countries, other provinces or other regions of Limpopo province. To deal with the continued need for hostels, the company is currently working on converting its current hostels into single accommodation units. To date, a total of 1 116 employees are now living in single accommodation hostels, with an additional 96 rooms currently being converted.

The living-out allowance for each category forms part of the subject matter of the annual wage negotiations between Northam and the NUM, and consists of an amount that both parties agree to.

Meals served at company-provided accommodation are prepared according to a meal plan drawn up by a clinical dietician with the energy, macro and micro nutrient content rigorously monitored. On average 9 000 meals are served to employees per day.

Mojuteng home ownership scheme

Northam considers home ownership to be a key element in addressing the accommodation requirements of employees. As such, the company has implemented the Mojuteng housing project to help employees to own their own homes. It does this by offering employees a home loan, a debt consolidation facility and a structured housing subsidy. This helps free up disposable income and results in higher home loan approval rates of around 70%.

In total, 380 housing units have been completed, with 337 sold and occupied to date. These include one-, two- and three-bedroomed houses.

The company spent a total of R5.6 million on the Mojuteng Project during the year (F2012: R44 million).


Booysendal employees and contractors live predominantly in the towns and villages surrounding the operation, including Lydenburg, Steelpoort, Burgersfort, Ngwaabe and Jane Furse.

The operation does not have hostels available for its employees and contractors but provides single unit accommodation for both at Tshufi residence. A total of 184 employees and contractors are currently making use of this option, with some of the remaining employees and contractors eligible for and opting to receive living-out allowances.


Northam has an established training and development programme in place to ensure that employees and local community members have the necessary support to improve their competence, knowledge in the workplace and to grow as individuals. The company separates these two areas. Training includes:

Development includes:

Northam’s training and development policy stipulates that emphasis be placed on the competence and competitiveness of employees as well as on their personal development. The impact of training and development interventions is assessed in order to ensure that these interventions positively influence workplace behaviour.

In F2013, the company spent a total of R20.2 million on training and development at Zondereinde and R1.3 million at Booysendal.


Zondereinde estimates its literacy level to be approximately 77%, with 5 335 employees having completed seven or more years of formal or structured schooling. Literacy, and the ability to communicate effectively and clearly, impacts the business at every turn. With 23% of the workforce not functionally literate, the need for ABET therefore remains key.

ABET is available to all employees on a part-time basis and the company is accredited to offer ABET up to a General Education and Training Certificate (GETC) level or an National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 1.

Some 329 employees attended Zondereinde’s ABET programme in F2013. Zondereinde does not offer ABET to local community members.

Zondereinde also offered learnerships to its employees during the year, with 35 individuals participating, 31 of whom were men and four women. The learnership fields on offer at the operation include electrical, plater/boilermaker, rigging, underground mining and rock-breaking, among others.

Northam’s bursary programme is designed to limit the risk of failure in the first year of study by offering students bursaries in their second year. Bursaries are offered in four engineering fields: mining, electrical, mechanical and metallurgical. As part of this process, the company also offers in-service training to participating individuals during their vacations. Successful bursars are subsequently entered into a two-year graduate internship programme before being appointed to the Northam workforce.

During F2013, five students received support to the value of R375 000 as they endeavoured to complete a mining-related engineering degree of their choice.

In F2012, Northam reported on the Dinaledi Stars scholarship programme, recently renamed the Girl-Child bursary programme, which provides assistance to local school girls in Grades 10 to 12. This is undertaken in an effort to increase the pool of professional black women in mining. In F2013, two of the three learners who matriculated in December 2012 were accepted by the University of the Witwatersrand to study engineering and geology. The third student accepted a bursary from the University of Stellenbosch to study actuarial science. Four of the current beneficiaries of the school bursary programme are expected to matriculate in December 2013. The academic progress of these learners is regularly monitored, with attendance at curriculum-related programmes required during school holidays in order to identify and address possible problem areas.

  Expenditure Number of people HDSAs Women
  R No % %
ABET 2 506 000 329 73 5
Learnerships 1 359 000 35 80 11
Bursaries 375 000 5 100 80
Study grants 32 000 1 100 0
Study assistance refunds 56 000 5 100 40
External training and skills development 3 615 000 766 46 7
Internal training and skills development 12 256 000 7 390 69 4
Total 20 204 000 8 531 68 5


A study of the literacy level at Booysendal has revealed an average minimum ABET level 4 or Grade 9 qualification amongst the operation’s contractors. ABET is therefore not considered to be a requirement with the current workforce. Northam has, however, prioritised the facilitation of ABET classes for local community members as a means of improving their access to employment opportunities in the future. The implementation of these classes has been tasked to an independent service provider from the local community.

During F2013, a total of 16 community members were enrolled into ABET level 1, with some 15 individuals completing the course.

A total of 17 employees participated in learnerships offered at Booysendal during the year, including nine women. The learnership fields on offer include rigging, electrical, auto-electrical, fitting and turning, instrumentation and plater/ boilermaker.

In the interest of furthering the qualifications and knowledge of Northam employees, bursaries are also available to employees at Booysendal. The areas of study that are supported by the company’s SLP, and place particular emphasis on assisting bursars from the operation’s surrounding communities.

During the year under review, five employees participated in Booysendal’s bursary programme, three of whom were men and two women, studying geology, metallurgy and mining. Four local community members also received bursaries during the year.

  Expenditure Number
of people
HDSAs Women
  R No % %
Learnerships 661 857 17 100 52
Bursaries 144 860 5 80 40
Skills development 101 282 19 73 21
Total R907 999 41 84 37