SOCIAL | People | Next: Communities


Our employee value proposition (EVP) refers to the benefits and rewards we offer to our employees for their commitment, skills and capabilities.

We uphold our licence to operate through
  • People strategy
  • Diversity and inclusion strategy
  • EVP

Our people strategy, based on four strategic priorities, is the foundation of our approach to employee engagement:

Establish workforce of the future
Create sound people partnerships
Consistent employee engagement
Drive organisational transformation

The pillars are underpinned by a commitment to sustain our culture, values and behaviours to enable our core purpose: to power better lives in Africa and beyond.

As our Sustainable Growth and Impact strategy evolves, it is supported by embedding our organisational culture – the behaviour we expect from all employees. We drive adequate communication and change management relating to strategic issues through our connext2NEXT platform, supporting positive employee engagement.

Exxaro believes that people are at the centre of our success. We harness value from our workforce's diversity of thinking. 

Our diversity and inclusion strategy supports our EVP through the co-creation of an innovative and agile work environment. Value-adding people solutions afford a fulfilling work experience with growth and development. The evolution of our EVP and our culture will be enhanced by the baseline culture survey.

We maintain sustainable human resource governance with a comprehensive suite of policies that cover employment, labour relations, occupational health and safety, training and education, among others. We are mindful of the safety and wellbeing of our employees and host communities. We strive to achieve zero harm through collective responsibility, commitment and risk awareness. Our phased approach to meeting employee needs uses lessons learnt in each phase to accelerate the next.

Exxaro employed 22 466 people in 2020 (2019: 23 365) – 30% full-time employees and 70% contractors.


We uphold our licence to operate through
  • Safety strategy
  • Basic conditions of employment
  • Health and wellness strategy

In terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (Act 29 of 1996), our BUs elect management and operators as safety and health committee representatives.


In line with Exxaro's zero harm vision, the group's approved safety strategy focused on achieving these key objectives in 2020:

  • Zero fatalities, zero HPIs
  • LTIFR of less than 0.11

We review our safety target every year, based on prior performance, and apply stringent management protocols, programmes and systems. Our BU management team investigates every occurrence of a safety incident and in terms of LTI and a skilled committee, headed by an independent chairperson, investigates fatalities and HPIs. Exxaro reports investigation findings to the executive committee and the sustainability, risk and compliance committee, and escalates these to our board.

The leading causes of incidents and sources of safety risk remain trackless mobile machinery, fall of ground, energy and machine isolation, lifting and material handling, as well as poor risk awareness and discipline. We provide on-the-job training to ensure well-trained people are in suitable positions. Each BU tracks adherence to standards and legislation through a safety improvement plan of self-assessments and corporate audits.

To achieve our goal, we review our LTIFR target annually, based on the prior year's performance, and apply stringent management protocols, programmes and systems.

We revised our group safety strategy in 2017 and leadership identified five specific focus areas, namely leadership, communication, consequence management, training, and risk management. Additional interventions to address safety risks in 2020 included:

  • Global Minerals Industry Risk Management course for top and senior management informed our safety improvement plans
  • Visible felt leadership improved management's presence and communication in the workplace
  • Safety communication (safety indabas at BUs, the group Safety Leadership Day and the Sustainability Summit)
  • Managing high-risk and non-routine tasks as well as working over weekends and holidays
  • Innovation and technology application for safety in work conduct

In 2020, the Sustainability Summit shared Exxaro's journey, particularly the importance of safety, with over 700 internal and external stakeholders hosted at the recently launched Exxaro head office the conneXXion. In addition, safety indabas were held at various BUs to entrench the safety conversation in company culture. Our new safety campaign, Khetha Ukuphepha ("choose to be safe") was also launched to communicate that zero harm is possible, to achieve safety targets, and to reach the three-year and beyond fatality-free milestone.

The campaign was introduced in the BU safety indabas and the executive committee's group-wide Safety Leadership Day. Executive committee members and safety and operations virtually connected due to COVID-19 to drive the safety message and demonstrate leadership support.

Compliance audits, including Ilima safety audits at Grootegeluk and Matla (our two biggest BUs in terms of number of people), were driven by two teams in two parts:

  • Leadership engagement (top-down) with mine management implementing safety processes
  • Safety systems review (bottom-up) with employees focusing on technical aspects, practical use of safety tools and observation of safe work procedures

The compliance audits identified potential obstacles in achieving zero harm. Emerging themes include limited practical knowledge of Exxaro's safety strategy and gaps in developing safety leadership skills.

The outcome of these safety improvement efforts was improved morale and performance resulting in the safety statistics shown below and production results.

Safety performance
months fatality-free
(as of 2 March 2021)
(2019: 0)

(2019: 0.11)
(2019: 26)
Three section 54 (mining activity stopped) and two section 55 (mining in affected areas stopped) notices resolved amicably with the DMRE
High-risk task audit of all operations
Health and wellness

Our health and wellness strategy, approved by our executive committee and board in November 2019, aims to:

  • Shift our healthcare approach from curative and employer-driven to preventive and employee-driven efforts
  • Align our health and wellness portfolios for a holistic and integrated management programme

Our strategy identifies occupational and non-occupational health risks and their causes, solutions to mitigate these risks, impacts of the risks on the business, and the best approach to ensure an environment that empowers employees to manage and protect their health.

We need seamless integration of health and wellness management with clearly defined employer and employee responsibilities for our strategy to deliver a comprehensive health solution.

Our health and wellness strategy is supported by three pillars that ensure an integrated approach to occupational and lifestyle diseases throughout our BUs:

Improve medical surveillance by extending clinical tests (heart disease and risk-based cancer screening) and ensuring our employees receive once-off DNA analysis assessments. Diagnosis was recently extended to include COVID-19 screenings
Improve healthcare management by ensuring all employees with health risks (occupational, and non-occupational) are included in a disease management programme
Improve preventive programmes with mandatory comprehensive wellness awareness campaigns and healthy lifestyle coaching (integrated with a certificate of fitness)

Diagnostic programmes are advanced with integrated health and wellness solutions. Wellness management is moving beyond services currently offered (general and psychosocial counselling) to healthy lifestyle coaching with physical and mental health management in a single certificate of fitness awarded after routine tests.

COVID-19 response

In line with our health and wellness strategy, Exxaro's strategic response to COVID-19 is based on three pillars:

  • Avoid infection
  • Reduce infection
  • Manage risks as they arise

Our health and wellness strategy seeks to provide a solution that diagnoses, manages and prevents cases.

Exxaro's response to the pandemic during 2020 included the following activities to protect employees, the business and our host communities.

  • Avoiding and minimising infections with amendments to business processes in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act 57 of 2002):
    • Amplified awareness campaigns (including our LetsConnect app) using our culture and values to empower employees with information about the cause of infection, transmission, symptoms, risks and precautionary personal hygiene measures and destigmatisation
    • Business processes amended to prohibit travel without permission, to practise social distancing (limited face-to-face meetings and gatherings) and to enable screening at entry points
    • COVID-19 technical teams established by our executive committee at BUs to guide and oversee protocols
    • Individual and workplace hygiene measures (face masks, social distancing, washing and sanitising hands, cleaning and disinfecting workspaces) directed by the DMRE
    • Driving compliance and behaviour change with COVID-19 compliance officers, internal safety inspectors as well as safety, health and environment representatives and audits
    • Installation of two testing facilities in Limpopo (Grootegeluk) and Mpumalanga (Matla mine), for both employees and community members, following appropriate certification
  • Case management:
    • Mass screening and testing to safeguard employees and operations at Matla and Grootegeluk laboratories
    • Oximeters for employees who test positive to measure oxygen levels and heart rate (patients contact healthcare professionals when they are concerned)
    • 24-hour COVID-19 call centre with healthcare professions to support employees with information and emergency response
    • Occupational health centres dispense supplements to infected employees
    • Quarantine and isolation facilities with professional medical care
    • Employee assistance programme (EAP) services extended to contractors in 2020 (EAP will be available to more employees and contractors in 2021)

Sustainability Summit 2020

On 3 March 2020, Exxaro held its annual Sustainability Summit and celebrated another fatality-free milestone. The summit's theme, The Future Now, highlighted our commitment to sustainability with a zero-harm vision, and showcased our new head office, the conneXXion.

Health and wellness

The summit emphasised the three pillars of our approach to health and wellbeing: diagnose, manage and prevent.

Exxaro wants all employees to receive a once-off DNA analysis so that medical practitioners can develop disease management programmes, based on valuable data, for people to manage their conditions. This prevention approach also includes risk-based cancer screening.

The integration of wellness and healthy lifestyle coaching programmes into the existing certificate of fitness was also highlighted. This will prevent diseases from developing or worsening, and encourage employees to take care of their mental health with the discreet and freely available EAP.


Zero harm was another summit priority. Our Khetha Ukuphepha safety campaign contributed to the significant improvement in our safety journey for 2020.


Exxaro's goal to maximise its net positive footprint was also on the summit agenda. Various integrated measures over the past five years have reduced our GHG emissions by 17%.

The summit achieved the prescribed standards for a green event with a performance score of 98.7% (the greenest event in South Africa) as it included:

  • Sound, highly visible and communicated environmental policy
  • Local suppliers
  • Minimum travel and transport
  • Purchasing activities and recyclability levels (local and seasonal food and drinks, delegate packs, transport and packaging among others)
  • Venue choice
  • Waste management
Occupational diseases

We categorise occupational diseases contracted at work as communicable and non-communicable. Communicable diseases are contagious (passed from one person to another) such as occupational TB. Non-communicable diseases are not contagious such as NIHL, COAD, silicosis, dermatitis, asbestosis and work-related limb disorders. The last three have not been present at Exxaro for the past five years.

Our occupational health programmes seek to prevent and mitigate the risks for permanent employees and contractors. The programmes facilitate analysis, monitoring and management of exposure, and provide preventive measures.

Reported occupational disease cases

Newly diagnosed work-related cases are reported to authorities for compensation, as legislated. In 2020, the decrease in cases reflected an improvement in our risk exposure profiles although we need to further reduce the incidence of occupational diseases.

2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
NIHL 1 11 11 12 17
Pneumoconiosis 1 2 8 18 5
Silicosis 1
COAD 3 2 4 1 4
Occupational TB 27 35 42 26 26
Total 32 51 65 57 52

There has been a steady reduction of NIHL incidents due to robust implementation of the hearing conversation programme. Regrettably this cannot be said about occupational TB due to HIV/Aids immuno-compromised individuals.

COVID-19 testing

Accepted cases

A total of six (2019: 15) occupational disease cases (demonstrably work-related) were accepted for compensation in 2020, including five (2019: 10) of TB and one (2019: four) of pneumoconiosis.

Mining sector targets for noise and silicosis

We adhere to the mining sector targets set in 2014 to eliminate NIHL, silicosis and pneumoconiosis, as presented below.




  • No employee's standard threshold shift will exceed 25 decibels (dB) from the baseline when averaged at 2 000 hertz (Hz), 3 000Hz and 4 000Hz in one or both ears

By December 2024:

  • 95% of all exposure measurement results will be below the milestone level of 0.05 milligrams per cubic metre (mg/m3) for respirable crystalline silica (as individual readings and not average results)
  • Using current diagnostic techniques, no new cases of silicosis will occur among previously unexposed individuals

By December 2024:

  • 95% of all exposure measurement results will be below the milestone level of 1.5mg/m3 (<5% crystalline silica) for platinum dust respirable particulate (as individual readings and not average results)
  • Using current diagnostic techniques, no new cases of pneumoconiosis will occur among previously unexposed individuals
  • 95% of all exposure measurement results for coal workers' pneumoconiosis will be below the milestone level of
    1.5mg/m3 (<5% crystalline silica) for coal dust respirable particulate (as individual readings and not average results)
  • Using current diagnostic techniques, no new cases of coal workers' pneumoconiosis will occur among previously unexposed individuals

HIV/Aids and TB

By December 2024:

  • At or below the national TB incidence rate and all employees should be offered annual HIV counselling and testing with eligible employees linked to an antiretroviral treatment (ART) programme (as per the National Strategic Plan)

Current status

  • No cases of silicosis accepted for compensation
  • 11 cases of employees with hearing loss reported

Previously unexposed individuals were not exposed to mining dust prior to December 2008 (equivalent to a new person entering the industry in 2009).

We will continue to implement hearing conservation and dust control programmes to reduce the number of new occupational diseases, and reach the 0% milestone target of the Mining Charter III.

Non-occupational diseases

We categorise lifestyle (non-occupational) diseases as communicable and non-communicable. Communicable lifestyle diseases include cholera, malaria, typhoid, influenza and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/Aids. Non-communicable lifestyle diseases are mainly diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular ailments.

HIV/Aids, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease are our most significant health risks revealed by a survey. In 2020, medical surveillance identified 70 (2019: 413) new diabetes cases and 196 (2019: 1 911) hypertensive employees and contractors.

The survey encouraged further integration of our health and wellness programmes. Awareness campaigns promote healthy living as we believe this will help address the prevention and management of lifestyle diseases.

Our solutions were aligned across BUs in 2019 with prevention and control of chronic diseases integrated into our workplace health programmes. Our initiatives were supported by case management and monitoring of individual progress in chronic disease management.

HIV/Aids and TB

HIV/Aids prevalence across Exxaro, based on tested full-time employees, was an estimated 8.8% in 2020 (2019: 24.7%) (more information in the table below). The national rate is 13%.

A total of 1 266 (2019: 494) employees and 4 582 (2019: 4 848) contractors received ART.

HIV/Aids awareness (employees and contractors) 2020 2019 2018 2017
Attended information sessions 17 693 30 403 18 657 16 788
Total tested 8 475 12 679 9 492 3 512
% tested 48 54 77
Employees tested positive 746 578 356 188
Enrolled at December (cumulative) 4 554 5 342 4 475 350
Received ART 5 848 5 124 3 167 4 547

Communication ensures effective early diagnosis, prevention and management of lifestyle diseases. In addition to risk management and prevention, we provide rehabilitation and return-to-work programmes. We also partner with the Department of Health to embed our healthcare operating model.


Our EAP ensures afflicted employees consult an external counselling service to address psychosocial, legal, financial, emotional, family, work-related and substance abuse issues.

To integrate our health and wellness strategy, an EAP awareness session is provided to all employees during the certificate of fitness process.


Exxaro's talent management strategy guides our sourcing and development of employees across the organisation. Our strategic workforce pipeline, talent planning and learning and development processes maintain our status as "employer of choice". These processes also contribute to our EVP, and diversity and inclusion strategies.

We use a well-defined succession planning process for management and specialists employees to identify and develop future leaders for the organisation. Succession plans are used to address the inevitable changes that occur when employees are promoted, rotated, exited or retire. Our talent bench is tracked to have visibility of the health of our Talent pipeline, specifically the development of employment equity candidates to ensure that proactive measures are in place to address talent and critical skills shortages. Our talent bench for employment equity is 24.3% on the D band and 31.1% on the E band.

Our talent management initiatives build leadership, management and technical competencies, and broaden knowledge. 

We facilitate leadership training, formal studies, mentoring, coaching, internships, learnerships, skills development, adult education and training (AET) and short courses.

The strategy has evolved over the past three years to focus on several initiatives that enhance learner experiences as well as reskill and upskill employees. Initiatives include smart workforce programmes, capability development, a new learning platform, diversity and inclusion programmes, new digital platforms and fourth industrial revolution training.

To meet our skills requirements, we invest in current and potential employees as well as members of communities in our labour-sending areas (99% in South Africa). Our bursary, graduate, learnership and skills development initiatives empower local communities to compete for positions. Learning programmes optimise individual potential for growth and meaningful contribution.

We examine key areas across the value chain to ensure the right skills are available at the right time. More than half of our talent pipeline spend is dedicated to artisan and miner learnership development.

 Developing our human resources

Human resource development initiatives reduce core skills shortages in the South African mining industry. Our learning programmes accelerate technical and functional skills development as well as leadership competence, especially for black people, women and people living with disabilities. At the same time, we comply with skills targets and goals set by regulators. In some instances, we exceed the requirements of the Mining Charter III and the dtic's B-BBEE codes.

We invest a portion of annual salaries and wages in developing our people. In 2020, we spent R227 million or 5.04% (2019: R298 million or 6.52%) of our payroll on training and development including:

  • R114 million on job-related operational and technical training (operator training and mobile equipment licences)
  • R93 million on bursaries, training professionals, internships, learnerships and skills programmes to secure our talent pipeline
  • R7.4 million on developing targeted employees in management programmes, leadership roles, postgraduate studies and support functions

To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our internship, learnership and skills development programmes, some training offerings were made available using digital platforms. More than 17 000 compliance training interventions were completed in our online cloud-based learning management system. The creative content improved learner retention and saved time.

Our human resources initiatives 2020 
Total training 227  298  260 
Total training (% of total payroll) 5 
Training for black people 177  219  211 
Black people trained (% of total payroll)  4  

Learnerships and skills programmes

We sponsor formal engineering and mining learnerships at our acclaimed Grovos training centre in Lephalale and the Colliery Training College in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga. Exxaro determines learnership requirements with a needs analysis, incorporating our business strategy, a skills gap analysis, employee career progression, SLP commitments and employment equity targets.

In 2020, 89% of learners in formal learnership programmes were black people, including 38% black women.

Our feeder schemes provide sponsored formal theoretical and practical training in core skills, including plant and mobile equipment operation, through structured skills programmes. Accredited training providers conduct workplace training at our BUs and the relevant sector education and training authority provides certification. Exxaro sponsors training and learners receive a monthly allowance for the duration of the programmes.

Feeder schemes in 2020 Number in
Engineering learners 411 365 (89%) 156 (38%)
Miner learners 33 31 (94%) 13 (39%)
Operator learners 90 87 (17%) 35 (39%)
Internships 110 110 (100%) 50 (45%)
Business administration learners 19 19 (100%) 15 (79%)


We offer internships for recent graduates to acquire practical experience. We also provide compulsory workplace exposure to undergraduates in various disciplines. We determine their requirements through a needs analysis that considers our business strategy and SLP commitments. We remunerate interns as an investment in our future.

In 2020, all interns were black people, including 45% black women.


Functional literacy is vital for our industry to deliver verbal and written communication and training, particularly safety messages. More than 90% of our workforce is certified as National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 1 and above. Employees who are not functionally literate, with qualifications below NQF level 1, have classroom training in their mother tongue with a qualified AET instructor.

Exxaro encourages employees to complete AET part time or full time and rewards completion when done part time. We also offer portable skills training to employees.

We have accredited AET training centres at Grootegeluk (in partnership with an external service provider) and Matla. Other BUs use accredited external training service providers.

We encourage employees to attend AET programmes at all operations, however, enrolments have declined over the years. In 2020, we invested R674 370 (2019: R1.4 million) in nine employees and 62 community members. Since inception, more than 1 300 employees have passed one or more AET levels.

Strategic workforce planning

Our strategic workforce planning initiatives supports our business in identifying and developing capabilities required to deliver our Sustainable Growth and Impact strategy.

We translate capabilities into learning journeys to reskill and upskill our workforce. The process supports digital transformation as our operations adopt new technology and equipment.

Our minerals growth strategy informs the transition of roles for effective delivery of our business strategy.

Updated competency profiles, assessment tools and learning interventions will support future roles. We train young people in our talent pipeline to expose them to our working environment with our new business strategy in mind.

Our smart workforce training programmes ensure digital skills are fit for the advancing digital economy,

Capability development for future growth

Our strategy aims to build a multi-core and supportive organisation.

We partnered with service providers to develop capability framework proof-of-concept training programmes (including strategic development, market orientation and business acumen).

Our plans include additional internal capability development programmes to be rolled out in 2021.

Leadership and management development

Leadership development is a critical pillar of our strategy. Our leadership programmes aim to transform zones of influence with individual and fellowship development. Exxaro's Leadership Way, which includes philosophy mindset and behaviour change modules, will be rolled out in 2021 for further reach into senior and middle management levels.

We also sponsor management development from junior to executive level. Mentoring and coaching as well as soft skills training develop the competencies of future leaders. Study loans are provided for other approved formal programmes.

In 2020, we trained 50 (2019: 59) employees in basic management, 52 (2019: 116) in first line management and 28 (2019: 24) in middle management. In addition, 54 (2019: 48) employees completed leadership programmes at first line, middle and senior management levels.

We customise our leadership programmes to include our culture and values-based philosophy with programmes incorporating self-awareness, mindfulness and systems thinking. We believe that leadership development is a powerful tool for growing the business, enabling change and transformation, and fostering a values-driven culture in the prevailing D-VUCAD operating environment.

Mentorship and coaching programmes

To support leadership development, we offer mentorship and coaching to employees aspiring for leadership positions.

In 2020, 54 employees (2019: 42) were in mentorship programmes. We have 45 paired mentor relationships across our operations.

Exxaro provides training, frameworks and guidance to every mentor and mentee to help maintain and enhance the mentorship relationship.

Fast tracking programmes

We define fast tracking as accelerating the development of high-potential black candidates for senior level positions through focused learning and development interventions.

At mid-year, we enrolled 54 black employees in our fast tracking programmes (59% female and 41% male) for 24 months. Since inception in 2019, 15 employees were promoted to high-level roles and one employee moved laterally. Exxaro provides feedback on their progress to executive heads every six months.

Our executive mentoring programmes aim to groom high-potential black candidates who occupy senior leadership roles for future executive positions at Exxaro. We have eight candidates in our executive mentoring programme (25% female and 75% male). As part of the training, we pair individuals with internal executive mentors, peer mentors and external executive coaches. The programme will run over 24 months, emphasising multidimensional executive coaching, formal training, experiential learning, feedback, and peer and internal mentoring.

Formal studies

Our postgraduate study offering enables approved formal studies for employee development and succession.

In 2020, we approved 26 nominations for master's, honours and postgraduate degrees as well as technological and digital programmes. A total of 61% of 2020 nominees were employment equity candidates, including 19% black women.

Talent pipeline

Our search for future employees extends beyond our current workforce to our host communities for people who can grow and transition with Exxaro.

We award bursaries for qualifying students to pursue careers in technical disciplines such as engineering (metallurgical, chemical, mechanical, electrical, mining and civil), mine surveying, geology, electronics and computer science. These bursaries cover registration, tuition, books and residence fees, and a meal and laptop allowance. Exxaro also offers these students valuable hands-on experience at its operations.

Bursary and graduate programme

In 2020, we supported 33 (2019: 39) bursars studying at South African institutions at a cost of R1.5 million (2019: R3.7 million) – 94% (2019: 80%) black South Africans, including 39% (2019: 28%) black women.

Our three-year professionals in training (PIT) programme blends academic theory with hands-on workplace experience. We pair each graduate with a technical coach who supervises exposure to various operations as well as technical, leadership and management training. After 36 months, we guide trainees who meet the requirements for accreditation to become professional engineers.

In 2020, we supported 78 (2019: 74) PIT candidates at a cost of R36.2 million (2019: R34 million) – 73% (2019: 72%) black people, including 32% (2019: 31%) black women.

In 2020, we identified and supported 10 matriculants from our communities at a cost of R1.2 million to improve their matric results through the Edumap bridging programme.

This 12-month programme focusses on improving the learners mathematics and physical science matric mark so that they can better qualify for university programmes and meet the university entrance requirements.

To support our women in mining drive we also sponsored 17 African female students from the local communities, at a cost of R182 000 to improve their knowledge and skills in technical subjects at the Lephalale Technical and Vocational Education and Training College. This will help them in opportunities in technical learnerships at our Grootegeluk mine.


Our adaptable culture reflects our willingness to learn and improve as we strive towards achieving our Sustainable Growth and Impact strategy. We continue intensifying our employee engagement efforts to share critical information and changes. This includes feedback from our employees through our culture and engagement survey.

Make Exxaro a positive place to be
Acting ethically, with accountability and against misconduct, while treating others with dignity, fosters a safe and healthy work environment.
Success lies with each of us
Contributing to performance and innovation every day, building together, we can drive Exxaro to new heights.
Our potential is in our differences
Harnessing our unique individual skills and opinions enables us to achieve exceptional outcomes.
Working together will bring out the best in us all
Achieving organisational excellence in an open and evolving ecosystem requires collaboration and teamwork.
We cannot move forward by standing still
Succeeding in the ever-changing world around us requires agility as well as willingness to learn and improve.

Our integrated approach to culture was the focus as we could adapt the organisation’s response to COVID-19 challenges as well as continued leverage of existing programmes such as health and safety, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, social impact, Exxaro Leadership Way and various monthly activities aligned to our corporate communications calendar in the organisation to deliver targeted messages. This included ensuring necessary support to employees with regard to remote working process, mental health and emotional support, anti-stigma, women empowerment and anti-GBV, among others.

Empowered to
grow and


Committed to


In 2020, a baseline culture and engagement survey was conducted to assess progress. We achieved an above-acceptable baseline score of 3.97 against a benchmark of 3.70. This will also ensure continuous improvement in our employment experience as we live our values with leadership support.

Employee relationship management

Our approach to organised labour relations is defined by collaboration and constructive engagement. Union relationships are based on trust and integrity.

Our employee relations strategy also enables the proactive maintenance of a healthy workplace through established engagement structures and dispute resolution mechanisms based on fairness.

Exxaro's policies and procedures comply with best labour relations practices and relevant legislation. We manage individual and collective employee concerns with due respect.

Skills workshops and training for employee relations managers and line leaders ensure that all parties are committed to building solid relationships. We broaden our employee relations capacity-building processes to understand recognition agreements and their purpose.

In 2020, 5 119 (2019: 5 089) employees were represented by affiliated unions recognised by Exxaro being NUM, Solidarity, AMCU, UASA, FAWU and NUMSA.

Union representation Number of
AMCU 328
NUM 4 219
Solidarity 408
Total 5 119

We maintain good relations with employees in bargaining units by engaging with their representative unions through formal recognition agreements. Wage negotiations processes are conducted at employer level and these engagements determine negotiated conditions of employment.

Our multi-year wage agreements, concluded in 2017, for Exxaro Coal Proprietary Limited (Exxaro Coal), Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga Proprietary Limited (Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga), Exxaro FerroAlloys Proprietary Limited (FerroAlloys) and Ferroland Grondtrust Proprietary Limited (Ferroland) expired in June 2020. Negotiations with organised labour for these entities led to a one-year wage agreements being concluded with NUMSA at FerroAlloys, NUM, UASA and Solidarity at Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga, NUM at Exxaro Coal, and FAWU at Ferroland. Our collaborative approach to union relationships has assisted us in concluding these wage agreements without any industrial action.

The Coastal Coal Proprietary Limited (Coastal Coal) wage agreement with AMCU is valid until June 2021 at which time discussions to renew will be initiated.

Exxaro employees at our ECC operation pre COVID-19

Exxaro employees at our ECC operation pre COVID-19
Share ownership

Greenshare, our employee ownership plan scheme, was developed for qualifying employees in 2019 and implemented in 2020. The scheme is evergreen and beneficiaries will benefit from dividend payments only for the duration of employment. This scheme is open to all employees not participating in any management share scheme.

When dividends are declared, participants in service will receive a cash payment equal in value to 560 Exxaro shares minus dividend tax. Participants will remain in the scheme for the duration of employment. Employees will not have capital appreciation rights.

In 2020, each participant in Greenshare received a cash payment of R5 425.32.

Number of active
Number of
Payment amount 
before tax 
Payment amount 
after tax 
March 2020 6 279 3 516 240 19 901 918.40  15 921 534.72 
August 2020 6 247 3 498 320 22 494 197.60  17 995 358.08 
Diversity and inclusion

Our diversity and inclusion strategy is a key strategic enabler and aims to create value from our people's diverse talent and mindsets. Diversity and inclusion is key component in ensuring that Exxaro achieves its Sustainable Growth and Impact strategic objectives by enabling an inclusive culture that empowers its people, irrespective of gender, race and background, to successfully contribute to delivering on our vision to "power better lives in Africa and beyond".

The implementation of the diversity and inclusion strategy is managed through the diversity and inclusion framework which adopts a phased approach aimed at increasing alignment and promoting a diverse and inclusive culture that delivers business and stakeholder value. The key objectives of the diversity and inclusion framework are:

  • Promoting an aspirational vision for the Exxaro brand on both national and international platforms through strategic partnerships in terms of the promotion of diversity and inclusion to stakeholders
  • Promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce through our actions, practices, leadership and culture by enhancing our employees' experience by creating a compelling EVP to become the "employer of choice"
  • Achieving our regulatory compliance targets by 2022 and 50% of women on management levels by 2025
  • Being a catalyst in accelerating our focus to enhance Exxaro's business purpose and stakeholder value creation

Diversity and inclusion implementation framework

In 2020, we defined diversity and inclusion for Exxaro with focus areas including:

  • Women empowerment and gender equality
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Leadership and culture
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Governance and policies
  • Compliance

Work streams have been identified for each of the above areas, where defined principles, current and future outcomes have been considered.

Leadership commitment and drive for diversity and inclusion in Exxaro supported early successes in 2020, which included the following:

  • The formulation of a diversity and inclusion policy
  • The adoption of a gender equality charter
  • Forging strategic partnerships of particular significance that align with UN Women and its women empowerment principles
  • Conducting anti-GBV campaigns across the organisation

Employment equity

Employment equity policies and skills development enable us to meet our transformation objectives in support of and drive for the national imperative towards a non-racial and transformed society. Appropriate affirmative action measures and human resource development programmes support our transformation processes as well as cultural engagements.

Exxaro achieved its employment equity targets over the past five years. Our targets for 2019 to 2022 are aligned with the Mining Charter III promulgated in September 2018. Though we have shown positive progress in achieving our annual targets, key challenges exist with the representation of women at senior management level and persons with disabilities across the organisation. Our aspiration is to measure our organisational transformation profile against the national economically active population statistics.

Our annual employment equity report, submitted for each employer to the Department of Employment and Labour, is outlined below.

Employment equity in 2020 Black males All female Historically disadvantaged people1 DMRE targets
Management category Number % Number % Number % Historically
people target
Top management 1 33.33 1 33.33 2 66.67 50% 20%
Senior management 34 38.64 17 19.37 51 57.95 60% 25%
Middle management 243 38.27 230 36.22 473 74.49 60% 25%
Junior management 1 231 51.53 636 26.62 1 867 78.15 70% 30%
Disabled Performance of 1.44% for all employees against a target of 1.5% for all employees
1 Includes white female employees.

Ethnic group turnover

Gender turnover

Turnover per age group

Reasons for termination (%)

Our staff complement was 6 739 in 2020 (2019: 6 812) with 82.92% (2019: 81.5%) of employees in bargaining units and 17.08% (2019: 18.5%) in the management and specialist category.

Bargaining unit Management and specialist Total
Region Male % of
Female % of
Male % of
Female % of
Foreign 39 0.58 1 0.01 9 0.13 2 0.03 51
Gauteng 82 1.22 75 1.11 169 2.51 139 2.06 465
KwaZulu-Natal 42 0.62 15 0.22 1 0.01 0 0 58
Limpopo 2 341 34.74 656 9.73 366 5.43 124 1.84 3 487
Mpumalanga 1 859 27.59 478 7.09 230 3.41 11 1.65 2 678
Total 4 363 64.74 1 225 18.18 775 11.50 376 5.58 6 739

In 2020, Exxaro’s average employee turnover rate was 3.6% (2019: 3.8%) due to death, resignation and dismissal. The turnover rate by employee group is shown below.

January to December 2020
Turnover by level Number % of
Senior management 3 0.04
Middle management 22 0.32
Junior management/skilled 88 1.30
Semi-skilled 113 1.67
Unskilled 16 0.24
Total 242 3.57

Eliminating discrimination and resolving grievances

We are committed to equal opportunity, irrespective of race, religion, gender, health status, sexual orientation or nationality. We believe that our strengthened potential is in our diversity and differences. We embrace the diversity of our strengths and individual skills to enable exceptional outcomes and promote a culture of inclusivity.

Our values guide our behaviour that celebrates the power of diversity and inclusion. Discrimination is never acceptable. Exxaro invests in upskilling and training managers and supervisors to appropriately apply disciplinary measures when needed.

In the review period, no cases of alleged discrimination or grievances were filed.

Women in mining

We empower female employees, who make up 24% (2019: 22%) of our workforce. We grow this talent pipeline through our PIT programme, which enrolled 38% (2019: 43%) female candidates in 2020.

In 2020, 39% (2019: 33%) of bursaries were awarded to full-time female students in engineering and mining disciplines at universities in South Africa.

Our learnership and internship feeder schemes in 2020 comprised 40% (2019: 35%) women.

Exxaro is recognised as a leader in gender empowerment as we understand the barriers women face in the mining industry. Our initiatives include:

  • Fast tracking and executive mentorship programmes
  • Gender mainstreaming and sexual harassment awareness at all levels
  • Encouraging and mentoring young women and girls in our communities to plan their careers and acquire skills to become independent and empowered
  • Our gender equality policy

The mining industry has significantly increased efforts to create a conducive environment for women since 2004. We celebrate their growing influence and respect their aspirations.

Exxaro prides itself in active women in mining structures across all our operations. These women in mining structures collaborate with transformation structures to highlight and resolve issues affecting women in the workplace.

Exxaro also signed up to the UN Women Empowerment Principles, which offer guidance on how we can further empower women in our workplace and communities.

Furthermore, Exxaro was recognised in the GEI. This announcement is testament to the gender-related practices, policies and purpose-led programmes to advance the role of women in Exxaro.


In line with our Mining Charter III obligations and our business needs, we address home ownership under our long-term housing strategy.

Since 2009, 643 permanent employees have received a mortgage repayment subsidy for first-time home buyers. Capital assistance of R125 000 significantly reduces employees' mortgages and improves affordability.

Our converted hostels (single-quarter accommodation or family units) also improve quality of life for over 920 employees.

In addition, bargaining unit employees receive a housing or living-out allowance. In 2020, we paid a housing allowance to 1 814 (2019: 652)employees with a registered bond and a living-out allowance to 3 450 (2019: 3 683) employees renting accommodation.