In the year under review, we faced several challenges in meeting our transformation targets relating to management control, employment equity and skills development.

Management control

The stability brought on by the appointment of our permanent CEO, Mpumi Mpofu, in February 2020 and permanent CFO, Siphamandla Mthethwa, in May 2020 proved invaluable in an unprecedented year. Their leadership provided consistency in uncertain times and assured all stakeholders that decisions made were well considered to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Company. Black representation at Executive Board level remained stable.

Employment equity

Although delivering tangible employment equity outcomes across all management and employee levels remains a priority, the impact of the pandemic has led to delays in company-wide initiatives to enhance employment equity. Notably, the development of our successive employment equity plan has been delayed until 1 April 2021 as a result of the staff cost reduction programme. This programme had a direct impact on the development of the Company’s successive employment equity plan which requires consultation with employees and set targets. All employment equity oversight committees have been updated on the development of the Company’s successive employment equity plan.

Black employee representation

We remain committed to developing a workforce that is representative of the demographics of the economically active population of South Africa.

In comparison to FY2019/20, black South African employee representation has increased 1.5% and black female representation has increased 2.3%. Although these proportional shifts are positive, it must be considered in light of a reduction of total employees owing to our staff cost reduction initiative.

Total female representation in the workforce increased by 1.7% to 47.2% of 2 752 total employees. This is a proportional year-on-year improvement compared to the national economically active population for females of 45.3% but must also be considered in light of a reduction of total employees as a result of our staff cost reduction initiative.

Supporting persons with disabilities remains a key focus area in transforming our people. Persons with disabilities representation did, however, decrease from 2.5% (FY2019/20) to 2.1% of our total workforce in FY2020/21, of which 1.9% were black persons with disabilities and 1.0% were black female persons with disabilities.

In 2019, we initiated an exercise to determine the reasonable accommodation requirements for employees with disabilities. Although the implementation of reasonable accommodation progressed well in FY2020/21, work from home conditions owing to COVID-19 impacted our ability to implement outstanding reasonable accommodation requirements. Persons with disability network support group meetings also continued; yet, because of a lack of access to computers and an internet connection, some employees with disabilities were not able to attend quarterly meetings.

We commemorated Disability Day in December 2020 and created further awareness of the need for inclusion and accessibility of persons with disabilities through online communications such as screensavers and email awareness campaigns.

Skills development

Youth development

While youth skills development and empowerment remain key to ensuring the sustainability and future availability of critical skills in the aviation industry, the severe financial consequences of the pandemic on our business resulted in a moratorium on recruitment and limited opportunities for skills development.

The staff cost reduction programme further impacted youth representation.

The TETA/GIBS International Executive Development Programme for Women

TETA supports efforts to develop women into senior and executive positions within the aviation sector. The programme aims to equip women with integrated strategic management and leadership skills at an executive level and to align current business practices to global standards for increased competitiveness in the sector. Out of the 36 nominees who went through a rigorous selection process that included interviews and a case study, five candidates have been accepted into the programme which commenced on 26 October 2020. All five modules attended in block classes have been completed. The international module has been suspended until further notice due to COVID-19 restrictions.

For more information on our employee and employee children bursary schemes, read here.