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SABCOHA/Volkswagen SA/ILO Project
The broad objective of the project is to put in place a National SafeWork action programme in three countries, focusing on establishing a preventative health and safety culture, which includes an effective response to HIV/AIDS in the workplace. By establishing a health and safety prevention culture, which incorporates an effective response to HIV/AIDS in the workplace, the economic losses due to deaths and HIV-related illness in terms of direct and indirect costs can be minimised.
With respect to VWSA, the project is implementing effective HIV/AIDS programmes in eight of its supplier companies. SABCOHA is co-ordinating this programme, using the SABCOHA Toolkit as a basis for implementation. The project began in July 2005, and ended in mid-2007. As part of the supply chain programme, the new phase will broaden to incorporate VW suppliers.
Because the eight suppliers lack the resources to deliver comprehensive workplace programmes or invest in employee health programmes, VWSA is perfectly positioned to "buddy" with its suppliers to provide expertise, materials and other support in setting up their own programmes. All the supplier companis have 25 - 1 000 employees, with 2 400 the total number of employees on the project.
The seven participating companies, all in and around Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage, Eastern Cape, are: Bel Essex Engineering, General Upholsterers, Yenza Manufacturing, S&N Rubber, Acoustex, Univel Transmissions, Schnellecke and Uitenhage Sand Blasting. One company, Zeus Manufacturing, has pulled out of the project due to resource contraints.
Planning and implementation began in May 2006. The companies were provided with training for co-ordinators, peer educators, information sessions for management and ongoing support and advice, particularly with regard to the use of the SABCOHA Toolkit, policy development and implementation of programme structures. Set to be completed by end May 2007, the project has seen most companies complete onsite VCT campaigns. The VCT campaigns have seen good uptake, ranging from 60 percent to 99 percent.
SABCOHA is funding all project management costs and the ILO funded the training component of the project (already completed). VWSA's contribution is not monetary but the company is securing HIV/AIDS testing kits from the Department of Health, supplying staff to conduct testing for the VCT process and other VCT-related resources.
The project has seen good participation by seven of the eight supplier companies, with four companies in particular forging ahead. A total of seven co-ordinators, 32 peer educators and 16 senior managers have been trained. Altogether, 30 Department of Labour inspectors have been trained in the ILO's new preventative health and safety culture and the labour department intends extending training to other Eastern Cape inspectors. These successes have largely been a result of strong collaborative partnerships, efficient service provider delivery, good relationshps with top managers and co-ordinators and tailoring the implementation of the programme to suit individual company needs.
The fact that the HIV/AIDS component started later than the main project has posed challenges. Other obstacles include production pressures and a lack of commitment from managers in some companies.
View a presentation on the SABCOHA/VWSA/ILO Supplier Chain Initiative: ILO/VWSA supplier chain report 143.50 Kb