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Our focus on human capital

We provide details about our communities and employees in the section on material relationships.

Due to the material size and contribution of our South African workforce, this section contains detail about their demographics, key performance indicators and development. This is also in support of the transformation imperative: building an employee base that reflects South Africa’s demographic diversity is a crucial part of our social mandate, and contributes to the success of SPAR.

Employee demographics

Achieving greater transformation is a major aspect of our strategy, and our employee demographics are a core measurement of progress. We are committed to building a culture that embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunity, as these also contribute to our strength as an organisation. We further rely on our ability to access a wide range of skills, talents and ideas. This is an ongoing challenge for SPAR, and we have allocated responsibility at executive level.

SPAR employs 3 602 people across our corporate offices, distribution centres and warehouses in South Africa (2016: 3 881) and adheres to all the relevant South African labour legislation and standards. This is supported by our certification as one of the Top Employers in South Africa in 2017. The following table provides data regarding SPAR’s black employees as a percentage of our total number of employees and the split between male and female across all race groups as at 30 September 2017:

New employee hires and turnover rate

While we endeavour to retain our talented human capital, we recognise that an appropriate level of turnover is healthy and creates opportunities for growth. SPAR’s ability to attract diverse, qualified employees further reflects the strength of our brand as an employer of choice. The following table reflects new employee hires and employee turnover according to age group, gender and percentage of black employees:

Broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE)

We measure our BBBEE score as a group in South Africa, which includes the central office and the seven distribution centres. Our rating in the respective elements is provided in the table below. According to the latest verification conducted in October 2017, the group is a level 8 contributor (2016: level 6), with a 10% recognition level.

Factors that impacted our BBBEE performance included the maturation of the empowerment deal concluded in 2009 with approximately 16 000 SPAR employees and SPAR retailer employees as beneficiaries. In terms of the transaction, 18.9 million redeemable convertible preference shares were issued to the BBBEE Trusts.

All BBBEE shares vested in August 2016 – seven years after the grant date. This resulted in an issue of 7.4 million new ordinary SPAR shares for cash, which was taken up by institutional investors. The value created through the placement of these shares realised R1.5 billion, which was distributed to the beneficiaries. The sale of the beneficiary’s shares had a significant impact on the companies’ ownership score. Going forward, the company intends focussing its attention on the enterprise and supplier development elements of the scorecard.

Over the past three years, the number of black retailers owning SPAR stores increased from 228 to 292.

Find our latest BBBEE certificate here.

Employee development

The group’s internal employee development programmes, which are run through The SPAR Academy of Learning, are crucial to attracting, retaining and developing a diverse talent pool. The following development programmes are in place:

  • Programme for Management Development (UCT)
  • SPAR Leadership Development Programme
  • Management Growth Programme
  • Supervisory Development Programme (various)
  • Graduate Training Programme

During the 2017 financial year, training covering a range of other areas also took place. This includes, among others:

  • First-aid and firefighting training
  • Driver training
  • My SPAR Picker Programme
  • SPAR Values Programme
  • Operating a lift truck and other vehicle combinations
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET)

In line with the group’s transformation imperative, our skills development programmes, such as ABET, Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) and management training, are focused primarily on upskilling previously disadvantaged candidates.

The following table reflects the average number of hours of training received by SPAR’s employees according to gender and employee category:

Health and safety

A comprehensive risk management programme is in place to protect the health and safety of our employees. It is audited on a regular basis by an external risk management service provider. The five components of the programme are emergency planning, health and safety, transport, fire and security.

Implementation is monitored and reviewed on an ongoing basis, with the understanding that legislative compliance is the minimum standard, and that excellence should be pursued. Each distribution centre has its own Health and Safety Committee, which oversees regular training and emergency drills, and is responsible for resolving or escalating issues that arise. During the 2017 financial year, 792 employees received health and safety training (2016: 568 employees).

The bulk of our health and safety incidents occur at the distribution centres, where employees handle bulk goods and operate heavy machinery.

We experienced one unfortunate third-party work-related fatality this year. A third-party vehicle veered into our SPAR truck’s lane, resulting in the death of an occupant of the third-party vehicle.

The table below indicates our health and safety performance for the year: