Human capital


Human capital comprises the collective knowledge, talents, skills, experience, judgement and wisdom of a grouping of individuals. This collection of resources determines the total capacity of the group to accomplish goals. Grindrod employees represent a diverse and rich population and the company invests in human capital in order to improve people’s ability to achieve their business objectives and improve their professional, personal and social skills.

  • Significant improvement in Freight Services LTIFR to 0.86 lost-time injuries per 200 000 hours worked (2013: 1.31) and Shipping 0.26 (2013: 0.29).
  • Good progress with restructuring human resources (HR) functions across the group into a centralised fit-for-purpose shared-services model to achieve uniform, best practice in human capital management, aligned with group strategy and objectives.
  • On target with the integration of HR master data on the SAP human capital management module.
  • Continued to entrench safety principles and procedures to reduce safety breaches.
  • Developing systems to adhere to occupational health requirements.
  • Managing the conversion of HR support services at operations to a shared-services model to add value through uniform structures and policies.
  • Improving the proactive approach to leadership and management development to match skills requirements to the objectives of the 2014 business strategy.
  • Complete the migration of all wholly-owned group companies’ employees, within and outside of South Africa, onto the SAP HCM system.
  • Embed the Employee Services offering and implement the talent-management module, which is crucial to the stability of the business through the growth phases planned for the next few years.
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improvement in Freight Services LTIFR

2014: 0.86 2013: 1.31

HR services, a component of the Corporate Services division which was established in 2013 to optimise the delivery of support services to all businesses on a shared-services basis, is on target with the implementation of its new operating model.

The new system is based on the SAP HCM module, which houses standardised employee master data for, among others, organisational structures, job and competency descriptions, payroll services, KPIs and talent management. By year-end, most Grindrod and wholly-owned subsidiary employees had been migrated to SAP, with employees of most businesses outside South Africa in the process of migration to SAP systems in five countries.

The previously fragmented HR administration and payroll services are being harmonised into a group-wide employee services unit, which also manages an employee self-service portal for leave administration and pay advice for employees who have already migrated to SAP.

Accurate group-wide HR reporting has been achieved, with non-SAP businesses feeding their data into the HCM module on a monthly basis. This provides consolidated HR information across the globe on head count, employee movements, salary and overtime cost, transformation and leave movement and liability.

A labour-relations blueprint has been developed and configured on SAP, to generate group-wide employee relations (ER) reports to facilitate a proactive labour relations strategy. Some 15.2 per cent of employees (2013: 13.6 per cent) belong to 13 unions (2013: nine) and 8.2 per cent (2013: 13.6 per cent) to three bargaining councils.

Safety and health

2014 2013
Key performance indicators
Freight Services
Safety and health spend (R’000) 56 545 22 896
Medical treatment cases 114 161
Lost-time incidents 68 109
Fatalities 1 2
LTIFR 0.86 1.31
Safety and health spend (R’000) 7 842 11 828
Medical treatment cases 2
Lost-time incidents 8 8
LTIFR 0.26 0.29
Financial Services
Safety and health spend (R) 5 546
Medical treatment cases 2
Lost-time incidents

Regrettably, Grindrod suffered a fatality at the Bremen Road Intermodal depot when an employee was struck by a large fork-lift stacker. The incident was duly reported and investigated and steps taken to entrench the safety rule that was breached as well as all procedures related to man-machine interaction.

2014 saw significant reductions in safety-related incidents, despite the diversity of risks being managed at businesses. Safety training will be intensified and all new businesses will be incorporated into the Grindrod safety management system. The improvement in safety achievements is underpinned by increased executive involvement in safety structures and procedures through the safety, health, environment, risk and quality (SHERQ) management committee, chaired by the CEO, and management involvement in divisional SHERQ committees. At businesses, safety is guided by monthly meetings, from shopfloor to management level, and the incorporation of safety as a KPI at management level.

Contractor safety is managed through a structured online tool and contractor safety statistics are included in the Grindrod database.

The requirements for the mandatory occupational health certificate of fitness, which includes annual health examinations, form the basis for ensuring a healthy and fit workforce. Tests are adapted across the businesses to include location-specific risks.

An Ebola response plan has been introduced to guide businesses operating in affected countries in Africa in dealing with a suspected ebola case, as well as prevention measures for Shipping vessels docking at ports in affected countries.

A computerised system to improve group-wide management and reporting is being implemented and will be fully operational in 2015.


Good progress was made in improving transformation at board and executive levels, through the appointment of Mrs Tantaswa Fubu, a black female independent non-executive director, and the promotion of Ms Bongiwe Ntuli, the Executive: Corporate Services to CEO of Port, Terminals and Rail.

Grindrod favours the appointment of designated directors, executives and senior managers to replace retirees or fill vacancies, but will, rather than promoting mere demographic representation, appoint the most suitable candidate to ensure continued strategy implementation.

Several initiatives, such as the GOLD programme, are in place to internally develop designated graduates and high-potential employees to progress into management.

Some 78 per cent of employees are designated employees (2013: 79 per cent).

More information on human capital is available here.