ENGAGEMENT AND CONSULTATION
Key to our approach to sustainable development is engagement and consultation as a means to elicit opinions, perspectives and criticisms as we go about business.
Even though the outcomes of an engagement process are not always to the Company’s advantage, we still believe that the best way to build trust, reach consensus and examine issues thoroughly is via discussion and deliberation. These are often iterative processes. Given the complexity of South Africa’s socio-economic environment, achieving positive outcomes for all stakeholders will only be achieved through consultation and engagement. This is especially relevant in view of the pending changes to the Company (see pages
8 to 15 for more detail).
Our principal accountability does remain to our investors, for whom we strive to maximise shareholder value. However, this is best achieved through due regard for the interests of other stakeholders and by acting with integrity. The scale and frequency of stakeholder engagement processes is guided by those relationships that are material to the organisation’s success. Stakeholder groups upon whom our activities have significant impacts are also regarded as important and are consulted and engaged accordingly.
Company stakeholders include investors and potential investors, employees and unions, governments, local communities, NGOs and associations. The following should
be noted with regard to Amplats’ stakeholders.
We comply with laws and rules and observe high standards of corporate governance, and are committed to transparency and fair dealing.
We are committed to the safety of our employees and to treating them with care and respect. We will invest in their development and ensure that their careers are not constrained by discrimination or other arbitrary barriers to advancement.
We recognise the importance of family life and of allowing our employees to achieve a satisfactory balance between their work and other aspects of their lives. We will deal honestly with our workforce, and maintain regular two-way communication with its members. Employees’ views are accessed by the board through the Social, Ethics & Transformation Committee as well as via the Human Resources Executive. The results of employee perception surveys, cultural surveys and other barometric assessments are routinely considered by the board and used appropriately to guide the organisation.
Government departments and agencies
We comply with the laws that pertain in the areas where we operate, and observe the high standards set by leading intergovernmental organisations.
We aim to create and maintain strong and respectful relationships with stakeholders living or operating near our mining operations. We regularly engage with these stakeholders and the social and economic conditions that affect them, and endeavour to contribute to their well-being and prosperity. We also regularly assess the impact of our operations on the environments where we operate and report on the findings of these assessments. Furthermore, we provide mechanisms for the consideration and fair resolution of complaints and grievances brought by local stakeholders.
A Company grievance mechanism procedure has been approved.
The procedure is generic and over time each operation will tailor it to suit the operating context. Presently, each operation has its own process for recording and resolving community grievances. The CED manager at each site is responsible for ensuring that grievances are captured and satisfactorily addressed. Grievances are recorded centrally on the Company database and progress towards resolution tracked. For details on issues raised please refer to page 84.
Our relationships with our customers, contractors, suppliers and other business partners are mutually beneficial, based on fair and ethical practices, including prompt payment within the negotiated terms.
Non-governmental, non-profit and community-based organisations
We routinely engage with a range of organisations falling within these categories. Recently, we have been consulting with the Bench Marks Foundation, for example, and a number of other organisations. We regard these organisations as important conduits of information between our operations and the individuals on whose lives we have
Amplats’ approach to engagement and consultation includes formal meetings, dialogues, one-on-one meetings, internal and external surveys, and regular engagement with local authorities and neighbouring communities at each operation.
Engagement with stakeholders focuses on those issues that have the greatest potential to affect operational performance, the Company’s overall viability and sustainability, and/or financial performance. Engagement is planned and conducted in accordance with the AA 1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard.
Issues considered important by the Company’s stakeholders are identified in the relevant sections of this report.
GOVERNANCE AND JOINT-VENTURE PARTNERS
A strategic review of the Company’s joint-venture portfolio was undertaken in 2011. Following this, the decision was made that Amplats must move away from being a passive investor to becoming an active one. The main aim of this shift in governance was more direct involvement with joint ventures to ensure that Amplats policies and standards were complied with.
Non-managed joint ventures and associates are governed by monthly steering and management committee meetings and quarterly joint-venture Executive Committee meetings at which Amplats has representation. The agreements make provision for the management committees to constitute subcommittees to monitor areas such as employment equity, resource management, planning, production, safety, health, the environment, audits, social development, community engagement and remuneration.