Human Resources activities
Our people are the most important asset of our business. To sustain and expand our operations, we need a safe, healthy, and engaged workforce.
Aspiring to be an employer of choice, Rössing Uranium provides long-term and rewarding employment by investing in our people throughout their careers. We believe that through employment creation we are making significant contributions to society and the Namibian economy and contribute positively to our partnerships with local communities and other stakeholders.
We recognise the importance of attracting, developing, and retaining people with diverse backgrounds in our business and realise the benefits of developing the skills of others. It is the mandate of the Training and Development section to see that this commitment is demonstrated and aligned to Rössing’s needs and objectives.
We understand that our operational environment may be hazardous, and for this reason the identification and management of material risks are crucial in our business approach. We consistently strive to create a zero harm working environment, regardless of where our people work or what type of work they are engaged in.
Workforce at a glance
At the end of 2021, Rössing Uranium had a workforce totalling 943 (919 permanent employees including expatriates and 24 fixed-term contractors (FTCs) compared with 955 at the end of the previous reporting year. The average number of contractors at the mine increased from 645 to 712.
The industrial climate and relationship with the Mineworkers’ Union of Namibia has improved significantly. No strikes or demonstrations were experienced in 2021. Communication structures and platforms have been restored and are being fully utilised.
Two wage agreements were concluded in 2021, inclusive of a two-year wage agreement for 2022 to 2023. Some disputes were resolved internally and withdrawn. The current Branch Executive Committee is supportive of constructive engagement.
During the third and fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, operational and services staff were required to work on site. Departments managed their employees through a rotational schedule to maintain minimal staff on site, whilst others were required to work from home. No additional payments were made as a result hereof.
Statistical information on our workforce, 2021
- Namibians, including FTC: 98.83 per cent (932)
- Non-Namibians, including FTC: 1.17 per cent (11)
- Female representation: 20 per cent (189)
- Number of employees who left the mine's employment: 49
- Number of new employees recruited: 39
- CNUC secondees: 4 (These secondees are seconded to Rössing for the purposes of reporting and representing the interests of the shareholder.)
We need a safe, healthy and engaged workforce.
Training and development
To achieve our people-development objectives, we support a blended approach to learning, and therefore have introduced an online learning platform.
Rössing’s training and development strategy focuses on re-skilling, upskilling and building capabilities across the company to enable the workforce to deal with the increasing challenges in the business environment, as well as the complexity of the new technology and business improvement initiatives being introduced.
Our learning and development strategy focuses on upskilling and capacity building of the workforce. During 2021, our focus was on safety, licences to operate, and compliance training.
A total of 129 mining operators received re-certifications on their licences to operate, whilst 108 plant operators received process safety and compliance training. Thirteen electricians were trained and received certification in medium voltage operating authorisation, and four mechanical engineers received the approved inspection authority certification from the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation.
To align with our business strategy in terms of driving business results in a safe, efficient, and cost-effective manner, we have rolled out the Business Integration workshops, focused on our revised values and business strategic direction. A total of 884 employees have participated in the workshops.
Training and development programmes
Graduate Development programme
Our graduate programme is a valuable bridge between university and working life and it aims to develop technical competencies over a period of 24 months. For the period under review, we employed seven graduates, of which four successfully completed their programmes.
Financial support was provided to 28 full-time employees to obtain either a undergraduate or postgraduate qualification. Seventeen dependants of our employees received financial assistance through our educational assistance programme, which provides children of permanent employees and pensioners (including disability beneficiaries) an opportunity to further their education at an accredited institution or at a vocational training centre.
Vocational Education and Training Levy
Rössing has participated in the Vocational Education and Training Levy submission since inception and has paid N$8.1 million for the 2021 Training Levy cycle.
A total of 15 trade apprentices completed their job attachment as part of their tertiary curriculum, during which they were exposed to on-the-job learning within their various disciplines. Further opportunities to support trade apprentices will continue during 2022.
Further opportunities to support employees and trade apprentices will continue.