Our people are the most important asset of our business. In order 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 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 where our people work or what type of work they are engaged in.
(From left to right) Graciana Emilias (Laboratory Technician), Tobias Shayula (Sampler), Julia Jason (Laboratory Technician), Geoffrey Ganeb (Laboratory Technician), Tjikukutu Muniazo (Sampler), Sepo Lusepani (Chemist) and Webster Simulya (Laboratory Technician), working at the chemical laboratory at the mine.
Workforce at a glance
At the end of 2019, Rössing Uranium had a workforce totalling 1,000 compared with 967 at the end of the previous reporting year. The average number of contractors at the mine increased from 938 to 1,029.
Employee relations continued to be an important focus area for our business during 2019 as Rössing strives to maintain harmonious relations with its workforce. In the transition to new majority ownership, the mine experienced no major industrial action in 2019.
A peaceful demonstration was held, in which demands were made to have a disciplinary hearing of a group of employees dismissed. A Labour Court matter between the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) and Rössing on the interpretation of the Sunday-pay agreement, entered into in 2003, remains unresolved.
The MUN and Rössing were unable to agree on annual wage increases before the end of the calendar year, and the matter has been referred for conciliation.
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Rössing Uranium remains committed to the training and development of our people, which is a critical process aimed at enhancing productivity and organisational performance, benefiting both the employee and the company. The Training and Development section supports the mine’s strategy to achieve its objectives by providing support and services to the various departments through collaboration and partnerships.
Our vision is to develop our people for growth, allowing our employees to recognise the Rössing Uranium values in terms of learning. The next few pages highlight the initiatives that will support us in achieving our goal of empowering and developing the workforce.
Rössing Uranium recognising employees for their long-service achievements in 2019. At this event we celebrated long-service achievement of 40 years for five recipients (photograph on the left) – in total, they had 200 years of working experience between them. We also celebrated the 30- and 35-year mark for others. In total, between all the long-service candidates in 2019 (photograph on the right) they had 385 years of working experience at the mine — an impressive achievement.
Recognising our employees
Rössing Uranium is committed to recognising our employees as a means of improving employee morale which drives performance excellence and engagement. The Making-a-Difference (MAD) programme has grown since its inception in 2012.
With our defined values of safety, teamwork, respect, integrity and excellence, we recognise and reward our people’s efforts in their quest for excellence.
During 2019, 136 employees received recognition awards for their effort and for going the extra mile.
Developing young Namibians is part of our social corporate responsibility as it contributes to the growth of the country at large and ensures the uplifting of skills. A total of 34 permanent employees were assisted with correspondence studies for undergraduate and post graduate studies.
A total of 30 trade apprentices completed their job attachment as part of their tertiary curriculum whereby they were exposed to on-the-job learning within their various disciplines. Further opportunities to support trade apprentices will continue during 2020.
Graduate Development programme
Eight graduates supported by Rössing are currently on a 24-month training programme with the aim to develop their technical competencies and leadership skills. It also supported the transition from university to the workplace.
During their programme they are given business-driven-action-learning group projects to enable them to gain real work-life experience and to challenge their technical competencies.
The impact of these projects contributed significantly towards the mine’s improved operational efficiency, health, safety, security, environment and skills development.
Vocational Education and Training Levy
Rössing Uranium has participated in the Namibia Training Authority’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) Levy submission since its inception. As a result, the mine contributed N$7.6 million during the 2019 training-levy cycle.
An annual inter-mines sports tournament in Otjiwarongo, with a Rössing team participating in various sport codes, demonstrates the good spirit experienced by employees from different mines in the country.
The Rössing Foundation’s Chief Education and Enterprise Officer, Lysias Uusiku, and his son pictured with Liu Yang, China’s first female astronaut in space. Liu Yang and her colleague Chen Dong were invited by President Hage Geingob for a five-day visit to Namibia. Three schools supported by the Rössing Foundation had the opportunity to meet the two astronauts in Swakopmund during the school holiday. They also paid a visit to the Chinese Telemetry Tracking and Command Station Centre outside Swakopmund.