A number of organisations such as SABCOHA, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and academic institutions have collated and/or published case studies of a wide range of South African organisations and their HIV/AIDS workplace programmes. Additionally, many large companies in South Africa have instituted HIV/AIDs programmes and published detailed accounts of the implementation and success of their policies on HIV/AIDS. This section offers summaries and links to the vast treasure of useful resources for companies and organisations that wish to review how others have managed their programmes and policies.
Anonymous case studies:
The company employs just under 9 000 staff in the hospitality sector in Southern Africa with branches as far north as Malawi. In 1997 when Grant held the position of District Manager, running a number of facilities, he knew he was HIV/AIDS positive but had not disclosed this fact to family or friends. The company had created a HIV/AIDS Committee in the workplace and he had put off joining the committee before. He wanted more information for himself and also felt that the committee lacked direction.
He had kept his status confidential mainly out of feelings of guilt and fear of discrimination and continued to do so while working and serving on the Committee as the Chairperson through 2000. However, he started feeling that he could not continue in a role of advocating action by the company with the passion that he had, without disclosing the drive behind his passion. He disclosed his status on AIDS Day, 1 December 2000. He is still humbled by the response from his colleagues and the support he received from the company.
The “coming out process”, Grant says, is not without its difficulties but he offers the advice of allowing your friends and colleagues to work through the natural process of anger and denial before acceptance in dealing with the news.
By January 2001, the Board of Directors of the company took the decision to take Grant out of his operational position and appoint him as the Group National HIV/AIDS Manager; a post intended to lead the fight against HIV/AIDS in the company. Grant explains how exciting the 180-degree change from an operational function to a human support function has changed his life and energy levels in the past two years.
The direction and impetus he has been able to infuse into the HIV/AIDS drive in the company has been assisted by his knowledge and experience of the operational aspects of the company that allow him to communicate with his colleagues. He is able to contextualise HIV/AIDS and design the programme implementation strategies relevant to the business demands and not just as a social imperative.
Grant’s company took an interesting approach to his position by negotiating with the trustees of the provident fund to share 50% of his employment costs, as his work in HIV/AIDS would benefit the fund. This lowered his cost to company and allowed the company to allocate his costs to the operational budget of each business unit. A policy was passed in the company requiring each business unit to budget for HIV/AIDS costs and furthermore to report on HIV/AIDS in all regular financial management reports. Should a business unit report to the head office without reporting on HIV/AIDS, the report would be rejected and referred back for correction. This strategy has created demand drivers within all business units for Grant’s input and assistance as the units not only are required to report, but they believe that they should get value for their budget contributions to his costs. He reports directly to the Group Board.
The challenge that Grant faced in his change management role was getting the support from middle management. Senior management was quick to support the HIV/AIDS strategy. The workforce and unions were appreciative of the company’s proactive approach. It was the middle level in the organisation that took the most convincing. The creation of a climate of openness, with care and support, has been the key element of the intervention Grant and his team of 10 committees and 300 peer educators have committed themselves to. Having a manager with HIV at the helm has greatly assisted them in achieving this goal.
Grant does not believe that he is ready to take anti-retroviral therapy. He has maintained his CD4 count above 500 since 1999 with particular attention to lifestyle, nutrition, vitamin supplements and psycho-social therapy. He feels that in time he may need to take ARVs but that right now he has a choice, recognising that not all people with HIV have this privilege.
His strongest role in a senior position as a person living with HIV is one of credible advocacy for change and tolerance and the management of the pandemic in the workplace and personal life.
The key to real “value adds” in any organisation is the passionate individual. He or she is the driver of any initiative from sales to administration and show particular value in areas of change and caring. An organisation needs only to find the right individual with passion for the project, and the project will be a success.
Harold joined a manufacturing company in 1977 in the warehousing department in Gauteng at a time that coincided with the emergence of the black trade unions movement in South Africa. A little later came the work of the Wiehahn Commission, and in 1981 he became one of the leaders in organising a union in the workplace. His passion and leadership saw him appointed as a shop steward in 1983.
He recalls a number of years of intense conflict between himself and management as the trade union movement fought for the rights of the worker and positioned itself in workplaces around the country. One of Harold`s main antagonists of the time is someone he now considers one of his primary mentors.
Harold first encountered HIV/AIDS on a union mission to Zimbabwe in 1986 and developed an immediate interest in the disease. At the time HIV/AIDS was thought to be a condition that only existed north of the Limpopo. In the ensuing few years Harold followed information on the epidemic and began to ask questions as to what effect HIV/AIDS was going to have on the trade union movement and the communities in South Africa.
In 1991, Harold approached the health unit at the company and requested to attend a course on HIV/AIDS training. This insight and passion led to increased HIV/AIDS awareness in the company workplace years ahead of other companies. The course that was provided was one for social workers and Harold attended it after hours. After first raising the issue in the union in 1992, the union took their first resolution on HIV/AIDS in 1993 and in 1994 created a support group of 24 people consisting of staff from a variety of divisions in the company.
The support group requested training in HIV/AIDS and all 24 staff in the group enrolled on an eight-month training programme. By the end of the programme the group had halved in size to 12 as some had lost interest and a number found that for religious and other reasons they were unable to deal with the course content. As a trained counsellor, in his spare time Harold began a five-year period of voluntary counselling in the communities. He worked shifts at his company and would spend a further eight hours at a local hospital. By 1999 Harold was experiencing burnout from the stresses of his “double life”. He approached the company’s health centre and they believed that he needed a programme of debriefing, counselling and mentoring. He says this process has changed his life and provided him with focus and renewed energy.
Harold currently holds the position of Health Administrator in the medical centre of the company, but much of his time is spent giving talks and counselling. He recently attended the 14th International AIDS Conference in Barcelona – not as a delegate, but rather as a volunteer worker at the Conference assisting with HIV positive delegates.
The qualities of a good peer educator are “respect for others, caring, showing commitment from the heart and knowing your audience”, says Harold. He believes a peer educator should not be too critical or aim to stop people from what they do, but should rather offer an alternative way to behave. “It takes skill to impart information to the youth and a different approach when talking with the elderly”, he says. The work of a peer educator is slow, focused and methodical because the real changes required to manage HIV/AIDS are behavioural and changing behaviours take time.
The Importance Of A Strategy
The company is a manufacturing and distribution group operating in the construction industry with a total of 1 450 employees. The primary factory employing one-third of the staff is located in the North West Province while the balance of the employees are nationally distributed in 60 locations around South Africa, with significant clustering in the major metropolitan areas.
During 1999 and 2000 a number of employees in the North West factory started presenting with HIV/AIDS-related symptomatic conditions at the company’s on-site clinic. The company began to consider the consequences of HIV/AIDS into the future and believed from literature and various sources that the HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in their area in the North West Province, could be as high as 25%. The scenario of managing such a large number of infected employees and the social responsibility in the community around its factory were both of real concern.
A further factor in the evaluation was that the company had made attempts to have certain employees (who were often unfit for duty) boarded out in terms of the permanent disability insurance procedures. A number of these applications had proved unsuccessful as the HIV/AIDS sufferers displayed erratic periods of being unfit for duty resulting in insufficient evidence to qualify for permanent disability.
The initial strategy
A strategy was formulated for the main factory workers, where the prevalence was considered to be highest in the company, with three main components:
• A “shadow workforce” would need to be trained and multi skilled based on projections to replace lost employees.
• An unused facility would be converted into family living units and the surrounding area would be cultivated into suitable land for subsistence farming. This new facility was to function as a hospice for employees once they became unable to work. A trust was to be created to sponsor and support the facility.
• All employees would be educated on lifestyle changes, nutrition and other matters relating to the disease.
The strategy was a defensive one, and prior to implementation the company believed it should review the assumed prevalence rates that were driving this strategy, and develop a reliable risk assessment.
The need for a revised strategy
It was decided to conduct anonymous prevalence saliva tests in the workforce initially in the North West Province and in the Western Cape. The results were found to be considerably lower than expectations. The North West site tested 7.8% HIV-positive on 80% of this workforce, while the Western Cape sites tested 7,1% on 95% of this workforce that volunteered.
With the lower prevalence rates, the company believed that a number of different proactive strategies were now financially viable and practical. A new HIV/AIDS policy is being formulated with the co-operation of the unions, and includes a comprehensive ill-health policy with clear grievance procedures to protect the HIV positive employees in the workplace.
The company has adopted a policy that provides for an ex gratia retrenchment package to AIDS-disabled workers who do not qualify for permanent disability insurance. The policy further provides that these employees and dependants have access to the company medical facilities for one year.
Following the results in the first two regions, the unions in other regions are not only supporting the initiative but are also requesting saliva testing. A decision to provide anti-retroviral medication will be considered once the saliva test results have been received from all locations in the country. Knowledge attitude and practices (KAP) studies are being commissioned for a number of regions to measure HIV/AIDS pointers and provide guidance for education programmes.
Anonymous Surveillance Testing
After months of preparation, the HIV committee prepared a meeting room filled with hundreds of saliva sample bottles ready for use in the HIV prevalence tests and nurses ready to assist….but not a single worker appeared!
The committee (made up of representatives from the unions, staff societies and senior management including the MD) had followed all the recommendations offered at HIV conferences and in best practice guides. Senior production managers had taken each employee in the company through a personal HIV training and awareness programme. Line managers were scheduled to lead each of their teams to provide saliva specimens. The external medical team contracted to carry out the sampling had addressed all 330 employees in the previous two weeks explaining the procedure.
What became clear in the difficult discussions in the months following this abortive event, was that employees could not understand how the results would be of any benefit to them, and they were suspicious that management was trying to identify HIV positive individuals within the workforce. Employees held the perception that the disease was limited to members of the African population group, and that the management team intended to replace sick workers with recruits from other (less infected) race groups. Employee representatives had not been able to alter this perception, since they had not been adequately educated and had not been active participants in the process. Employees also feared that the infection rate within the company was extremely high, a perception gleaned from media reports from antenatal clinic surveys.
The employee-led approach
The new plan, spearheaded by a co-employee who had openly changed his lifestyle since coming to terms with the extent of the HIV epidemic in KwaZulu-Natal, involved every employee in a HIV-prevalence education programme. The initiative was positioned as an essential safety and health training programme for the workers and not for management’s benefit. The first group to pass through the programme consisted of the shop stewards and middle managers. The education programme emphasised how the information from the prevalence testing would be put to use to benefit both employees and the company. Attendees participated in many different role-play exercises and were called on to put themselves in positions such as a foreman, production manager and even a foreign shareholder in order to understand perspectives on each level.
The prevalence saliva testing was then re-launched in conjunction with a knowledge attitude and behaviour study. The success of the new communication programme has facilitated the company in collecting the anonymous prevalence results with a set of 24 responses to the KAP survey as well as the standard demographics. This level of trust between unions and management on HIV/AIDS is unprecedented in HIV/AIDS workplace activities. More than 95% of all employees provided saliva samples and KAP responses.
Aids Drugs Offered In A Small Business
The company had long realised that the health and well being of its employees contributed to efficient production and a caring ethos in the workplace. Located in Industria, west of the Johannesburg CBD, the 250 employees in a manufacturing environment had access to a full-time on-site nurse and a visiting doctor once a week. At the time of this study less than 25% of staff were members of a formal medical aid plan.
HIV/AIDS related deaths, while not confirmed, had started to increase in the past two years, when in late 2001 management believed that a proactive strategy beyond education and counselling was required to address the problem.
The increasing awareness of the rising impact in the workplace spawned an informal workers’ HIV/AIDS Committee which encouraged all employees to voluntarily contribute R10 or more per month from their pay towards a fund that was supporting colleagues who needed vitamins and nutritional supplements. The company had a blood donation drive and donated R50 to the fund for every pint of blood donated by employees on an on-going basis. The clinic sister, while maintaining confidentiality, managed the distribution of nutritional supplements and supportive medication employees.
The company commissioned a saliva prevalence test process in February 2002. Following talks and education, 227 employees from the 250-strong workforce were tested with 23 (10.1%) testing positive. The prevalence in the 20 to 40 year age band was 17,5% with other age groups accounting for the balance.
The results were published in the workplace and the company offered VCT. To date 38 staff members have received VCT with 13 testing positive.
Anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs offered to employees
The proposal was made to the overseas shareholders to provide ARV drugs at the appropriate time to all employees who come forward for VCT and request ARVs. The budgets showed that the related costs are affordable to the company, and the Board of Directors approved the proposal.
The company formed an HIV/AIDS Committee to manage the funding of the ARV initiative, set policy and drive the HIV/AIDS Strategy in the company. With prevalence levels that are manageable within reasonable budgets, the HIV/AIDS Strategy is focussed on prevention, peer educators, healthy lifestyle and nutrition. The following points highlight some interesting aspects of the ARV initiative, and its impact on participating staff:
• All 13 individual employees who tested positive and registered with the programme have regular CD4 and viral load checks. Three employees have low CD4 counts and are receiving ARV therapy.
• A charge of R25 per week is levied to recipients receiving ARV therapy primarily to introduce a “sense of value” to the privilege.
• The company expects a strong reciprocal responsibility from the HIV-positive employee to comply with ARV protocols and reserves the right to withdraw therapy if the CD4 counts show that the employee is not compliant.
• Two of the five employees on the ARV programme have volunteered to become peer educators and help drive the HIV/AIDS campaign.
• Two cases have shown CD4 counts raised from under 50 in March 2002 to over 100 by July 2002 and viral loads dropping from over 20 000 to undetectable levels after one month, and remaining there.
Aids Drugs And Big Business
Responding to the impact
The company is a multi-national one and operates in 13 countries across Africa. The company has not conducted formal prevalence assessments in any of the locations (including South Africa) but has launched its current HIV/AIDS policy and initiatives within the context of what it refers to as “responding to the impact”.
The impact period began in 1996 where the company started experiencing significantly increasing numbers of staff deaths believed to be AIDS-related, with considerable disruption to production and operations. Although up until 2001 certain countries responded with increased awareness and education programmes, these were having little effect on the losses. The company believed that its HIV/AIDS policy was limited in its effectiveness and too broad in its approach.
Based on its experience of rising HIV/AIDS death rates, the company believed little value would be gained from prevalence testing. The company felt that a strategy to address the situation directly and immediately would yield the best operational results, and would contribute favourably towards employee morale and limiting further infections. The strategy identified three initial “drive levers” that could be implemented, to improve the workplace environment.
• VCT as well as post VCT services for all staff in Africa.
• Increase HIV/AIDS education intensity at all locations.
• Increase access to ongoing HIV/AIDS counselling at all locations.
A detailed cost-benefit analysis was commissioned to evaluate the full economic cost of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the African operations. The evaluation also assessed the cost of providing real care services to the employees that would reduce the direct and indirect costs associated with taking no action. A financial benefit was shown and the plan was implemented.
• ARVs for the purposes of extending lifespan and optimising the productivity of each staff member with HIV/AIDS.
• Psycho-emotional counselling to staff and dependants to address the impact of HIV/AIDS and a range of other emotional problems such as violence, financial hardship and substance abuse.
• Anti-retroviral drugs to all registered dependants to limit the effects of “sharing drugs”, particularly where more than one family member is believed to be infected.
• A lifestyle, education and nutritional programme for all staff whether they are infected or not, to improve wellbeing among all staff.
The core values associated with the decisions to implement the programme recognise the company’s responsibility to take a stand against HIV/AIDS, to understand the contribution that it can make to the psychological wellness of its workforce and to save lives and “buy time” in the African HIV/AIDS environment. The unique decision to provide ARVs to dependants as well, responds appropriately to the strong African culture of sharing. This immediately alleviates the problems of compliance to the dosages of the anti-retrovirals, and the moral dilemma for the company and family around the choice of which lives are to be preserved.
Case studies of companies and other organisations:
Afrox has met the welding, cutting and gases needs of South Africans for more than 75 years – from the advanced process-oriented requirements of the large fabricator, to the varied product line-up required by the small user and DIY enthusiast.
Anglo Platinum (Angloplat)
Angloplat undertakes to manage the HIV/AIDS threat and:
The groups approach has two focus areas, namely the workplace and the community, underpinned by Mining Charter requirements. The workplace programme includes promotive, preventative and treatment measures and aims to work in partnership with internal and external stakeholders, while the community programme aims to complement and enhance the policy delivery of both the governmental departments of health and social development; particularly with respect to prevention and healthcare promotion as well as socio-economic interventions.
Bargaining Council for the Contract Cleaning Industry (BCCCI) in Kwazulu-Natal
Report description: A comprehensive and integrated HIV/AIDS strategy for the contract cleaning industry in Kwazulu-Natal.
Subsequent to the signing of a memorandum of understanding in July 2004, the Services SETA, SABCOHA and the BCCCI, have actively engaged in implementing a comprehensive and integrated HIV/AIDS strategy for the Contract Cleaning Industry in Kwazulu-Natal. Currently this initiative is the first of its kind within Bargaining Councils and has provided a platform and learning opportunity not only for other Bargaining Councils but for especially vulnerable communities and industries as well.
Buffalo City Municipality
An HIV Prevalence Study and Costing Analysis was undertaken for the development of an HIV/AIDS Workplace Strategy for Buffalo City Municipality by the Centre for AIDS Development, Research and Evaluation (CADRE).
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The De Beers group is the largest diamond mining company in the world, responsible for over 40% of global diamond production by value and 45% of rough diamond distribution. Mining takes place in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania, with new mine developments underway in Canada. The diamonds we produce are sold through the DTC.
For a company as firmly rooted in Africa as De Beers, the prevention and management of HIV and AIDS is vital. Having been at the forefront of proactive HIV and AIDS programme management with the provision of free antiretroviral treatment it is encouraging to see that between 12,000 to 16,000 children can count on the support of at least one parent as a result of our efforts .
In Southern Africa, antiretroviral treatment (ART) is provided free to employees and a spouse or life partner, and children of employees in the case of Debswana. In 2006:
De Beers in South Africa
In South Africa De Beers has 5,000 employees and prevalence is estimated at 10.2% (against a national prevalence estimated at 18.8%). AIDS has been identified as a key business risk to the company, and as such has been integrated into the everyday operational risk management. There are four key pillars to the De Beers Strategy:
Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) studies have determined high-risk behaviours such as interaction with commercial sex workers and low levels of condom usage in high risk sexual encounters. Such surveys help direct strategy.
A global corporate HIV/Aids workplace policy reflects the principles and intent of the De Beers group for its offices and operations around the world. This facilitates customised responses to local requirements and conditions within a broad framework of common standards.
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Eskom is a vertically integrated operation that generates, transmits and distributes electricity. Eskom generates 95% of the electricity used in South Africa. Eskom Enterprises, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Eskom, core lines of business are infrastructure development, energy business operations, specialised energy services and the pursuit of key opportunities in related or strategic businesses, such as information technology and telecommunications.
Eskom has estimated that by 2005, the 550 to 600 new AIDS cases a year within their organisation will add R275 to R300 million to the cost of business annually.
In 1988 Eskom initiated its first HIV/AIDS policy focussing on education, surveillance and counselling. By the mid-1990s the organisation became aware of the impact this disease would have on its business and workforce and an impact analysis on Eskoms operations was commissioned. The analysis projected a 26% HIV prevalence rate in ten years if no interventions were made. This finding motivated Eskom to make HIV/AIDS a strategic priority of the organisation.
Two committees were formed to deal with this issue. The strategic committee dealt with the impact of HIV/AIDS on the organisation and its employees, and developed strategies to manage the effects. The operational committee was in charge of education, awareness, care and support to infected and affected employees and families.
Today the programme consists of various initiatives. These include Prevention & Awareness, VCT, Care and Support as well as Partnerships in Action. Immune Modulating Therapy as well as anti-retroviral therapies are being case-managed while day-to-day monitoring ensues on a continuous basis.
Under Prevention and Awareness, proven methods have been implemented which include education in human rights, HIV/AIDS care and prevention. Where testing is concerned Eskom contributes to the costs of VCT, and Care and Support includes psychological support, access to antiretroviral therapy under Eskoms medical scheme through approved HIV clinicians and TB monitoring.
Eskoms mission of total commitment to manage the impact of HIV/AIDS through integrated response strategies aims to empower people and enhance the sustainability of the business. These response strategies include:
Promotes voluntary counselling and testing, free HIV testing, confidential, results do not need to be revealed
Beyond awareness, equipping employees with knowledge including human rights issues, legal issues and care for the HIV/AIDS positive people, emphasis on de-stigmatisation
Psychological support, Medical Aid cover (ART), treatment for sexually transmitted infections, TB treatment monitoring, Free condoms, Nutritional Supplementation, Wellness programmes
Promote social cohesion and minimise impact on the business: addressing single sex accommodation and construction camps
Reviewing all policies that may be impacted by HIV/AIDS to ensure non-discrimination at all business processes
Objective is to establish infra-structure for tracking trends within the organisation, and for projecting the impact of HIV/AIDS:
Information is: Comprehensive, Coordinated, Sustainable, Consistent, Easily Accessed, Multiplatform, cannot be avoided
South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI), South African Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (SABCOHA), Population Council (Horizons), Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GBC), Foundation for Professional Development (PFD).
Johnnic Communications (Johncom)
Johnnic Communications (Johncom) is South Africa’s leading media and entertainment company. Johncom is a world-class supplier of media, including national newspapers, magazines and digital services, and a globally competitive entertainment company, which produces and distributes local and international music, film and books.
The company is committed to creating a supportive environment in which employees with life threatening illnesses are able to continue working under normal conditions in their current employment for as long as they are medically fit to do so.
It has also committed itself to the principle that HIV/AIDS education is the most effective way of managing HIV/AIDS in the workplace and that it is only through education that behaviour can be altered.
The companys education process has been incorporated in the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and the objectives are to:
Metrofile has reported that its HIV/AIDS program has yielded results that far exceeded its expectations, with 90% of the organisation’s staff taking part in the voluntary HIV counselling and testing phase. 80% of those tested came forward to find out their results. The majority of those who did not come forward had either had an HIV test previously or knew their HIV status.
In October 2003, Metrofile embarked on an initiative with HIV/AIDS facilitator Reality Training Concepts to ascertain its level of HIV infection, with the aim of assisting its employees and their communities, and preparing itself for the challenges HIV/AIDS presents to business across the globe.
“Reality Training Concepts performed a needs analysis at Metrofile to determine the company’s level of HIV readiness, and then recommended the best way forward for us,” says Jill Leite, HR director at Metrofile. “Most people are aware of HIV/AIDS, so we wanted a program that went much deeper than simply raising awareness. The program that Reality Training Concepts has helped us develop focuses on making people understand the disease and showing them that being HIV-positive is not an immediate death sentence.”
Metrofile’s HIV/AIDS program has three phases. The first phase involved educating and training all company employees. Once the training was complete, employees were given the opportunity to voluntarily undergo testing to determine their HIV/AIDS status.
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Metropolitan has been a pioneer in fostering crucial debate with key stakeholders around the issue at various Metropolitan AIDS Conferences and other engagements. With many workplaces having made the RedRibbon portal available via their intranets, Metropolitan has significantly extended the access to information and advice. As part of its broader corporate social investment (CSI) programme, various partnerships have been formed with organisations to strengthen its involvement and commitment to AIDS
Metropolitan Group acknowledges the seriousness of HIV / AIDS as a medical reality with both social and economic implications. Metropolitan aligns itself with the objectives of reducing the transmission of HIV / AIDS infection and the protection of those with HIV / AIDS against any discrimination and victimisation.
Its policy has been prepared as a result of employee and employer concerns about HIV/AIDS, the potential of HIV/AIDS to affect the workplace, and to promote efforts to prevent HIV transmission among NAC employees.
Implementation of this policy will ensure the creation of a non-discriminatory environment for employees infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. The objectives of its policy are to:
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipal area
A pilot study into the socio-economic impact of, and response to HIV/AIDS by medium and large workplaces in the municipal area.
Focusing on organisational, rather than individual survival, this study, conducted in 2002 by the Labour Relations and Human Resources Unit of the University of Port Elizabeth, explored the impact of HIV/AIDS and organisational responses in fourteen workplaces in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipal Area (NMMM). The study was the pilot for a longitudinal study begun in January 2004.
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Kumba Resources Group of Companies
Kumba Iron Ore was formed in November 2006 when the iron ore assets of Kumba Resources Limited were unbundled and listed separately on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE). It is a fully empowered company in terms of the 2014 equity ownership requirements set out in the South African Mining Charter. Shareholders include Anglo American (69.7%), the Industrial Development Corporation (12.9%), and minorities (17.4%).
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Mittal Steel South Africa’s sustainable development philosophy is driven by the companys firm belief that the financial prosperity of the organisation is inextricably linked to the manner in which the company cares for its people, the environment and communities in which it operates.
This philosophy manifests itself in an array of safety, health, environmental and social investment programmes, which represent the human interface of the organisation and is aimed at the well being of the companys key stakeholders, both in the operating environment and within society.
With board and executive level representation the company ensures that sustainable development activities receive the highest level of attention. The companys Vanderbijlpark Steel plant, which was part of the former Iscor Group, had no structured strategic HIV/AIDS intervention three years ago. It started from ground zero and a range of behaviour change methodologies, techniques, workplace programmes and products were developed. A BC formula (rights/responsibilities + access = choice) was developed to provide the model for HIV/AIDS-related programmes, projects and interventions, whether mass or person-to-person.
The Bamampela/Friends Indeed peer-educator programme has seen 87 educators recruited and trained and target is to have 300 in place.
Roche Products (Pty) Ltd
The impetus to develop the Roche Pharmaceuticals HIV and AIDS policy came from the CEO who attended the World AIDS Conference in 2000. Roche aimed to integrate HIV into the core business of the company and ensure the sustainability of their HIV programme. Meaningful employee involvement in the development and implementation of the HIV policy was provided through the establishment of a representative task force, elected from its 500 staff. Partnership with GTZ provided essential technical and practical training and assistance in development of the policy and implementation. This was however on the understanding that the Roche task force would be able to take these efforts beyond their three year partnership with GTZ. The task force wrote the policy between January and September 2002, and required examination of a number of internal issues at Roche so that the policy best met the needs of Roche as an organisation.
The final document was short and easy to read. All employees were given a copy and made aware of where help was available in the company and how to access this. Confidentiality was assured. The Roche spokesperson, Faith Masilo, commented that employees learnt to cope and work through their own fears, and so were able to lead this effort for the company.
Key to the success of the policy and its implementation has been good communication on the policy within Roche. For example, managers are aware which of their employees form part of the task force and receive minutes of these meetings so that they can accommodate the additional workload and responsibilities that these employees carry. This helps to avoid frustrations that might otherwise arise from having employees away from their workstations.
Roche is confident about the policy and its implementation within the company. Milestones include a prevalence study (saliva tests) conducted in March 2003 in which 99% of employees participated. Prevalence was 8%. A VCT campaign followed in September 2003, with 31% participation. An occupational health clinic on the premises continues to offer VCT daily. Aid for AIDS (AFA) has been contracted to provide HIV/AIDS related assistance to all HIV-positive employees. As this programme is not linked to Roche Human Resources Department, confidentiality is ensured and employees can use the system with confidence. At this stage, the service is not extended to family members.
Roche will be concentrating for the near future on (1) providing managers with appropriate training to manage HIV related discussions with employees and (2) assisting employees to manage their VCT results (3) the integration of chronic illnesses into the programme, and (4) developing a monitoring and evaluation system.
The global company mines coal and explores for, and produces, natural gas and crude oil, and operates more than 20 petrochemical and chemical sites around the world.
It has implemented the Sasol HIV/Aids Response Programme (SHARP) in South Africa and Mozambique, which was launched in September 2002. This
Sasol provides access to counselling, HIV testing, HIV/Aids education, treatment of opportunistic illnesses such as tuberculosis and malaria, treatment of sexually transmitted infections, eliminating discrimination on the basis of HIV/Aids status and the provision of managed healthcare (including antiretroviral treatment) for employees.
A principal focus of SHARP remains the need to provide VCT, an essential first step in facilitating appropriate access to healthcare options and a critical component of promoting behavioural change. As a result of its collaborative approach based on trust, Sasol has one of the highest VCT uptakes in South Africa: 82% by 30 June 2005. This compares well with a rate of between 50% and 60% that is typical among most corporate programmes. To date, 7,1% of employees have tested positive for HIV, which is well below the companys estimated actuarial prevalence rate of 19%.
The successful uptake of VCT has been attributed to the high level of management responsibility for the initiative, the participation of trade union representatives in the SHARP team and a commitment to providing free antiretroviral treatment for affected employees. Having taken all of the
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South African Breweries
South African Breweries is one of the worlds largest brewers with brewing interests or distribution agreements in over 60 countries across five continents. The groups brands include premium international beers such as Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as a range of leading South African brands. Outside the USA, SAB is also one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.
SABs HIV/AIDS strategy aims to be comprehensive and reduce the cost and impact of HIV and AIDS on the business. This involves strategic planning and policy development as well as the development and implementation of proactive and effective interventions. A cost and impact study has been carried out.
The Life Threatening Diseases Policy provides a framework within which to manage HIV and AIDS and informs employees of their rights, responsibilities and benefits. Employees who have a life threatening disease are treated with sensitivity, compassion and consistently as with any other employee. SAB endeavours to create a supportive environment within which employees who are HIV positive are able to divulge their HIV status and receive the necessary support. Information regarding the medical condition of employees is kept strictly confidential at all times. No disclosure is allowed unless with the written and informed consent of the employee. The company supports the principle of non-discrimination.
The two areas of major focus internally are to manage existing infections through voluntary counselling and testing and early diagnosis and managed health care, which includes anti retro-viral treatment and secondly to reduce and prevent new infections through effective education programmes. The companys strategy is updated annually. The Knowledge Attitudes and Practices (KAP) Survey results are used to inform the strategy.
SAB believe that VCT is one of the key initiatives as this unlocks the door to treatment. All results are completely confidential. ACT is designed to encourage employees to discover their status early enough to start treatment, if this is necessary. SAB pays for all testing and employees are given a choice as to where they might prefer to be tested, whether internally at the company’s occupational health clinics, or externally by an appointed external service provider.
All employees and their dependents have access to a managed health care programme which includes lifestyle management and the provision of anti-retro viral therapy through an external service provider.
St Leger & Viney
The manicured offices of St Leger & Viney, in Kramerville, Johannesburg, give little clue to the spirit of humanity now so integral to the company’s ethos. Ironically, it is HIV/AIDS that has triggered dramatic changes in how the fabric distribution and décor specialist company, winner of a Khomanani Excellence Award last year, has begun to tackle the health and wellness of its 50 employees.
Although an HIV/AIDS workplace programme was only initiated at the beginning of last year, one project has rapidly led to another and the small company now has a fully-fledged wellness program in place pointing the way forward for other small businesses which have been slow in taking up the challenge of HIV/AIDS in their workplaces.
CEO Gary Searle says the company initially had “an ostrich mentality” regarding HIV/AIDS. “We had a similar approach to many other companies in South Africa. The problem just seemed too huge to consider tackling.” Previously, employees would on occasion get ill and then leave the company, says Searle, and “the problem would be ignored”.
However, when one of his employees, who had recently given birth, became ill and died in April 2003, leaving behind an HIV-positive baby and two other children, Searle realised the company had to get involved. St Leger and Viney matched funds raised by staff for the employee’s children, but Searle realised an HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention programme had to be put in place to protect his workforce. “I was saying to a friend that I felt so powerless; that it was difficult to know where to turn when government policy wasn’t clear,” recalls Searle. “He then told me about the Sabcoha toolkit.”
St Leger and Viney brought in their HR consultant, and with the help of Sabcoha, the company began to implement an HIV/AIDS workplace programme.
Johannah Mushi, a slight young creditors clerk at the company, was happy to take up the challenge of becoming the company’s AIDS Champion. Mushi had wanted to do something useful in the field of HIV/AIDS after a close friend of hers tried to commit suicide after being rejected by her family for her HIV status. Mushi also recently lost a cousin to AIDS.
After appointing Mushi, the next step at St Leger and Viney was to show the staff the Toolkit video as a way of introducing HIV/AIDS as a topic for discussion in the workplace. “We announced that we would start an awareness campaign in 2005 and we showed the video at our Christmas party in 2004.
Everyone was polite, but rather perplexed, recalls Searle. Then the company began distributing pamphlets, stocking the staff toilets with condoms and invited a counsellor from the nearby Wendywood Clinic to give a presentation on Voluntary Testing and Counselling.
“Initially employees were suspicious that we were getting involved in an area that previously was private,” says Searle. Mushi also picked up much resistance from male employees reluctant to go for an HIV test. “They would say, ‘even if we go, we are still going to die’. “But I kept on sitting with them, explaining to them the importance of getting tested,” she says.
Employees opted to test privately at the Wendywood clinic or other facilities. A year later, Mushi and Searle believe about half the staff now know their status. “I’m hoping that everyone will test. If I can just keep talking, then I hope they eventually will,” says Mushi, who adds exuberantly that being an AIDS champion has changed her life. Beyond giving her new purpose in life, it is also offering career development opportunities: she is set to attend training courses on HIV/AIDS counselling.
Morale in the company has soared
A total of 1 000 condoms are given out each month and, in a climate of open discussion and awareness-raising, staff are continually encouraged to go for Voluntary Counselling and Testing. HIV/AIDS is also placed on the agenda for every staff meeting. Searle does not know how many employees are HIV-positive or whether any are on ARVs, for that matter. However, as his is a small company that does not offer medical aid, he sees its primary role as creating awareness and helping people access treatment rather than providing it. “If one of our employees has multiple sclerosis, shouldn’t we then also pay for her medication? Where do you draw the line?” he asks.
Searle is amazed at how the HIV/AIDS initiative has paved the way for other programs and built morale in the company, particularly after St Leger and Viney won the Khomanani Excellence Award last year in the small company category.
Implementing the Toolkit is a ‘no brainer’
He soon saw, however, that focusing only on HIV/AIDS to the exclusion of other health-related issues, just wasn’t enough. “I realised that taking an interest in a staff member’s health simply because they have a life-threatening disease is a bit much,” says Searle. Now the company has implemented a Wellness Program in both its Johannesburg and Cape Town branches, which includes regular visits from health professionals offering flu vaccines, blood pressure testing; lectures on diet, fitness, HIV/AIDS, general health and beauty; as well as events such as weekend outings to the Topsy Foundation (a foundation supporting children orphaned by HIV/AIDS). Events like these have inspired many staff members who are not directly affected by HIV/AIDS to get involved, say Searle and Mushi.
Searle says the new initiatives are costing the company very little money and just a bit of time The facilities are all out there, it’s just a case of tapping into them We learnt from the experience of using the (Sabcoha) Toolkit. It shows you how to tackle a massive problem in small bites.”
In his view, membership of Sabcoha and implementing the toolkit is a “no brainer”. “As a businessman it gives you the opportunity to build a team around the issues and shows your workforce that you are genuinely concerned about them. This is hugely motivational. To really motivate people you have to make them believe that they are working in the right place, at the right time and with the right people.” By all accounts, St Leger and Viney’s Wellness Program is going a long way towards achieving this goal.
Total South Africa
The South African company has interests in the petroleum industry; in retail it controls a national network of some 530 service stations, while it is a major player in the commercial and industrial markets. The company manufactures and sells the full range of petroleum products including lubricants and greases, kerosene, jet fuel and liquid petroleum gas.
Total South Africa and its subsidiary companies based in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, seeks to minimize the social, economic and developmental consequences to the company and its employees through comprehensive, proactive HIV/AIDS workplace programs.
Totals policy includes:
World Economic Forums case studies:
AngloGold is a large international gold mining company and has 20 operations in Africa, North and South America and Australia.
Using a direct service model to provide workplace prevention, care, support and treatment (October 2003)
AngloGold uses a direct service model to provide workplace prevention, Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT), care, support and treatment programmes.
Anglovaal Mining Limited (Avmin) is an African mining company. It develops copper, cobalt, nickel, ferrous and precious metals. The company has eight mining and plant operations in South Africa, Zambia and Namibia.
Designing and operating a site-tailored HIV/AIDS programme to succeed in a decentralised company (August 2002).
In 2002, Avmin defined the elements and outcomes for a successful Avmin HIV programme. Each of its eight operations will be held accountable for tailoring and implementing these programmes.
Operations are implementing a wellness management programme for HIV positive individuals as well as antiretrovirals for MTCT, rape victims and employees with occupational exposure in 2003.
To view the full report, click here .
Barloworld is a construction company based in South Africa. It has for many years implemented comprehensive initiatives in its Southern African operations to minimise the impact of HIV/AIDS on employees and businesses.
Goal: HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy
Click here to view the full document.
The BMW Group focuses on the manufacturing and distribution of automobiles and motorcycles. The BMW Group has 23 production and assembly plants, 34 sales subsidiaries, a research and development network and worldwide market presence (May 2009).
Building an HIV/AIDS workplace programme that addresses BMW South Africas specific context.
1. Is an un-linked prevalence survey necessary to motivate the creation of a comprehensive HIV/AIDS programme?
BMW South Africa developed its HIV/AIDS programme through a multi-stakeholder HIV/AIDS committee to address needs identified in its 2001 KAP assessment.
HIV-positive employees gain access to BMWs comprehensive care, support and treatment programme, including access to Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Treatment (HAART).
DaimlerChrysler South Africa (DCSA)
DaimlerChrysler is one of the worlds largest automotive, transportation and services companies. It has manufacturing operations in 37 countries and distribution operations in more than 200 countries. DCSA has three main plants that manufacture, market, import and export motor vehicles and automotive parts. (March 2004)
DCSA formed a partnership with labour, represented by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, management and GTZ to prevent new infections, to provide care, support and treatment for HIV-positive employees and dependants and to play an advocacy role regarding HIV/AIDS interventions at the workplace, in the community and at provincial and national levels.
Every employee is required to belong to the Corporate Health Plan, which ensures funding for HIV/AIDS treatment for employees and dependants (Aid for AIDS (AFA) disease management programme) including Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Treatment (HAART). Each business unit also provides wellness programmes, which can include general health promotion, nutritional support and counselling, Syndromic STI management, tuberculosis (TB) treatment through Directly Observed Therapy Short course (DOTS) and health status monitoring.
Click here to view the current document on the DCSA website:
Mining is at the heart of what we do. Our skills and technology, honed by more than 120 years of experience, bring diamonds into the light of day. We have the largest diamond resource and reserve position in the world and the best mining assets.
Gold fields (GFL) is a metals and mining company in South Africa. Its main business is the mining of precious metals, in particular gold, of which it produces approximately 4.5 million ounces per annum from open cast and deep level mines in South Africa, Ghana and Australia (February 2003).
Changing behaviour and providing care for HIV-positive employees through employee and community programmes, for less than US$ 46 per employee per year
GFL’s programme aims to prevent an increase in workplace and community prevalence:
GFL’s programme also aims to extend the life of the worker both at work and at home:
Nedcor is a major South African financial services company and has operations throughout South Africa, and branches in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Isle of Man, as well as representative offices in Beijing and Taipei.
Nedcor is developing interventions initially focusing on awareness and prevention activities with an aim to address high-risk behaviours, reduce discrimination, increase the company’s ability to manage the disease, and increase the enrolment of HIV-positive employees in the company’s treatment programme.
HIV-positive employees gain access to Nedcor’s treatment programme, including access to Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Treatment (HAART).
Old Mutual is a leading financial services company with operations in South Africa, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom.
To focus on its employees and the workplace, the broader community, its customers and the business impact of HIV/AIDS.
Old Mutuals strategy, which is based on the premise that HIV/AIDS is a manageable disease, consists of the following four dimensions: (1) workplace and employees; (2) the broader community; (3) financial services and advice for customers; (4) the business impact.
Old Mutual works to balance the need to provide suitable and affordable financial services and advice in a country with a high HIV/AIDS burden.
South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA)
The South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) was formed in July 1994 by 6 of South Africa’s refining and marketing companies to represent the common interests of the petroleum refining and marketing industry in South Africa.
To create and HIV/AIDS peer education project for retail site forecourt attendants
This project is managed by SAPIA on behalf of seven of the largest downstream (retail) oil and gas companies operating in South Africa: Caltex, Total, BP, Shell, Sasol, Engen and PetroSA.
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South Deep Mine
South Deep gold mine in South African is controlled though a joint venture by Placer Dome and Western Areas. This mine is a southerly extension to the Western Area Gold Mine.
Prevention through training.
South Deep has worked with its unions to develop and implement prevention, VCT, wellness, and home-based care programmes.
South Deep provides employees with care, support and treatment both at the workplace and in the communities where they re-locate after ill-health retirement.
Click here to read more.
Standard Bank Group Limited is a nationwide bank with significant operations in Africa. It is one of the Big Four banks in South Africa.
Building a comprehensive communications-focused HIV/AIDS workplace programme for a financial services company.
Standard Banks programme is built on an integrated communications strategy designed to address the staff needs identified in the KAP study. It includes a management-endorsed policy, education and prevention, as well as confidential counselling support and medically-appropriate treatment.
In March 2002, the bank contracted ICAS to provide professional confidential counselling support on a broad range of topics, including HIV/AIDS. Current usage rates indicate that 16% of employees will access the service each year, of which 2% discuss health and HIV/AIDS-related issues.
Click here to read more.
Unilever Plc is one of the worlds largest consumer goods companies with a presence in over 150 countries. It has been in South Africa for over 100 years and owns many household-name products.
Changing behaviour through a focus on people.
Unilever Boksburg has played a leading role in the development of HIV/AIDS programmes in Unilever South Africa.
Management is also in the process of establishing a cluster of HIV/AIDS child care homes in Vosloorsrus, a local township for residents. A cluster of child-care homes is already operational in KwaZulu-Natal.