TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY AND SHAREHOLDER

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TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

The implementation of training and development initiatives is aligned with the Skills Development Act 97 of 1998 and other related legislation for purposes of developing the workforce skills requisite in order to improve the quality of life, productivity and competitiveness, and delivery of social services. Furthermore to respond to the water sector skills requirements.

For the 2021/2022, the entity witness a slight increase in trainings offered as compared to the previous reporting cycle due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Due to the limited resources and adherence to COVID-19 safety precautions, training interventions were conducted. Table 1 provides an overall number of employees trained per occupational category, hours spent per gender and total hours per occupational category for FY 2021/2022. Training hours per gender is detailed in Figure 1 (a), with Figure 1 (b) highlighting training spent over a fi ve-year period.

Table 1: Training Hours per Occupational Level, Gender and Per Employee in 2021/2022

YearFemaleMale
20181116116702
20191093621445
20202582221075
2021595411332
2022158219654

Details pertaining training hours spent per gender are presented in Figure 1(a), with Figure 1(b) highlighting training spent over a five-year period.

LEADERSHIP, LEARNERSHIP AND APPRENTICESHIPS

At Umgeni-uThukela Water, skills development remains an essential enabler for employees to excel in their individual and organisational roles to deliver on the entity’s mandate.

As part of the continued endeavours to strengthen organisational leadership capacity; two Executives enrolled for an Executive Leadership Development Program at Gordon Business School and University of Cape Town (GetSmarter) respectively. A three multi-layered assessment was adopted focusing on key areas namely; behaviour change, attitudinal and technical skills. The outcomes of the capacity impact assessment report will be used as baseline for the design and decision-making on future Leadership Development initiatives.

A total of 11 employees have been enrolled for the Management Development Program (MDP) at various accredited institutions. The purpose for enrolment is to equip the newly appointed with new set of skills and current individuals who are already occupying leadership roles within the entity with the required knowledge and ability to drive change and organisational mandate, ensure achievement of Vision 2050 and organisational sustainability. The MDP progam further aims to assist with the achievement of short and long term goals of the organisation.

The Learnerships and Apprenticeships programme provided training, development and exposure to both internal and external candidates. A total of 58 apprentices were enrolled in the apprenticeship programme and received theoretical training at Amajuba TVET College and Shukela Training Centre in the Electrical, Boilermaking, Instrumentation, Motor Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering trades. During this period, learners further received practical work exposure from various operational sites within the entity as per the requirements of the programme. For this period, 9 learners in the above-mentioned trades have completed their trade tests and were deemed to be competent as Artisans and appointed as junior artisans for a two-year period in order for them to gain experience that is in line with the minimum requirements of the artisan positions.

Umgeni-uThukela Water assessed the skills and competency levels of internal personnel against requirements of Draft Regulation 17 of the Water Services Act for Blue Drop and Green Drop certification and developed a multi-year training plan to fill the skills and competency gaps. The internal positions include Superintendent, Process and Quality Technicians, Senior Operator, Operator and Process Controller positions. In the reporting period a total of 380 Process Controllers were enrolled in either the Learnership Programme or in N3 Water and Waste Treatment and various courses in water and wastewater treatment.

ASSISTED EDUCATION

The organisation continued to provide employees with financial support to further their studies in disciplines related to the entity’s core and support business for improved performance to meet the current and future skills needs through the Assisted Education Programme (AEP). For the period under review, 37% of employees enrolled in formal qualifications that respond directly to critical and scarce skills needs. The qualifications ranges from NQF level 6 to NQF level 10, consisting of under graduate and post graduate qualifications.

UMNGENI WATER YOUNG PROFESSIONALS

The existence of Umgeni-uThukela Water Young Professionals (UWYP) proves the entity’s ongoing acknowledgement and support towards initiatives aimed at developing the youth. Since the inception of UWYP in 2014, the forum has an active membership of 180,consisting of employees below the age of 35. The UWYP is a solution-oriented platform that aims to cultivate professional development, leadership and social responsibility among the entity’s young workforce.

The forum continues to aim at being a catalyst in supporting the organisation to achieve its vision and mission, be the proponent of continuous learning, growth and collaboration, and being a key partner to enable the organisation to achieve efficiency gains through innovation and use of best-fit technology. Aligned with Umgeni Water`s growth strategy; the forum’s operational model is underpinned by its constitution, strategy and the following objectives:

  • To create enabling environment for professional growth through affiliation and registration;
  • To encourage active community and social responsibility participation;
  • To create a solid professional and social networking the young professionals in the organisation;
  • To empower Umgeni Water Young Professionals (UWYP) through skills development, resources and informationsharing.

During the reporting period the UWYP initiated and advocated for different Initiatives that were seen being key to the progress and continuous success of the forum. These initiatives were borne of engagements with different internal and external stakeholders.

Notable activities completed by UWYP in the year include:

  • Participation in the Non-Revenue Water Management knowledge exchange webinar between eThekwini MM, the City of Yokohama, Japan, Yokohama Waterworks, Management Bureau which was hosted as part of the South African Local Government Association and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) collaboration;
  • Planning and successfully convening a Professional Development Webinar targeting employees aged 35 and younger, with the purpose of encouraging increased professional registration across a wide array of professional bodies;
  • Partnered with the Young Water Professionals and Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association in successfully convening Virtual Career Guidance and Mentoring sessions for Grade 12 learners across various schools in the Pietermaritzburg area;
  • Sponsored a public special needs school catering for children with intellectual learning challenges in Pietermaritzburg with educational support materials, as part of Youth Month commemoration;
  • Participation at the National Youth Indaba convened by the Department of Water and Sanitation to shape the discourse of youth participation in the water sector
  • Finalised detailed planning and set up of a virtual Book Club, that is to entice continued learning and growth through assimilation of written knowledge for the entity’s young workforce. The Book Club will be fully operational in the first half of 2022/23.

BURSARY, GRADUATE AND IN-SERVICE TRAINEE PROGRAMMES

Umgeni-uThukela Water’s graduate trainee programme aims to expose trainees to a practical working environment that puts structured learning into practice in order to equip benefi ciaries with applicable competencies to allow development of a pool of qualified, skilled and experienced candidates for future employment. In the reporting period, the entity had 53 graduates enrolled in the engineering, science and other required professional fields and 40 in-service trainees.

A total 18 interns were contracted for a two-year internship programme in multi-disciplinary fields across the organisation. The duration of the internship program was extended to two years to allow adequate workplace exposure and for interns to meet the minimum requirements for entry-level positions.

Umgeni Water continued it bursary programme and funded 17 bursary students through the Bursary Scheme with students enrolled at various universities in disciplines of Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemistry, Microbiology and Computer Science – Cyber Security.

The entity in partnership with National Treasury continued to implement the graduate development programme of engineers, technologists, process support and technicians with specific emphasis on meeting the skills shortages in municipalities in the province.

In the reporting period, 39 Graduates were developed under theNational Treasury Graduate Development Programme. These graduates are expected to be professionally registered by 2024.

KEY MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS

Umgeni-uThukela Water employees subscribe to a wide range of memberships and associations (Table 2). These straddle governance and risk, water, science and engineering, natural resources, social impact management, business, finance and accounting, and occupational health and safety, among others. The memberships ensure employees keep abreast in fields of expertise and participate in sector knowledge-sharing.

Table 2: Key Membership and Associations

CategoryMemberships
Governance and Risk Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (loDSA)
Institute of Risk Management South Africa (IRMSA)
Ethics Institute of South Africa (EthicsSA)
Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)
Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA)
Compliance Institute of South Africa
Association of Arbitrators
Corporate Counsel Association of South Africa
Association of Arbitrators and Corporate Counsel Association of South Africa
Financial and Business South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
Association of Corporate Treasurers of Southern Africa (ACTSA)
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA)
National Business Initiative (NBI)
Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI)
Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB)
Chartered Institute of Purchasing (CIPS)
SA Accounting Academy (SAAA)
Product Quality, Infrastructure Stability, Research, Innovation, Science and Technology Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA)
South African Association of Water Utilities (SAAWU)
International Desalinisation Association
South African Institute of Agricultural Engineers
South African Institute of Mechanical Engineers
International Association of Hydrological Sciences
American Water Works Association (AWWA)
International Water Association (IWA)
Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA)
South African Institute of Civil Engineers (SAICE)
Construction Industry Development Board (cidb)
South African Institute of Chemical Engineers (SAIChE)
Project Management Institute
South African Council for Planners
South African Planning Institute
South African National Committee on Large Dams (SANCOLD}
The Association of SA Quantity Surveyors
Concrete Society of Southern Africa NPC
South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP)
The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM)
South African Geomatics Council
American Chemical Society (ACS)
South African National Standards
Community and Environmental Sustainability, Science and Technology International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIAsa)
South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP)
Institute of Waste Management
Employee and Leadership Development, Operational Resilience, Operational Optimisation Institute of Information Technology Professional of South Africa (IITPSA)
South African National Standards Association (SASS)
South African Institute of Draughting
Electrical Contractors' Association
NACE International
South African Right of Way Association (SARWA)
Institute of Safety Management
Fire Protection Association of South Africa
South African Board of People Practice (SABPP)
South African Nursing Council(SANC)
South African Reward Association(SARA)
South African Society of Occupational Health Nursing Practitioners (SASHON)
Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply (CIPS)
State-Owned Entities Procurement Forum (SOEPF)
Society of South African Archivists (SASA)
Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA)
South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (SAIOSH)
Toastmasters International
The Association for Office Professionals of South Africa (OPSA)

PERFORMANCE, ALIGNMENT TO STRATEGY AND REMUNERATION

Umgeni-uThukela Water continues to implement successfully a three-component performance management system in the organisation. The system ensures that all employees have conceptual knowledge, and an understanding of the role and purpose of their jobs with line of sight to the entity’s strategy and performance objectives and targets.

The Board of Umgeni Water assesses the entity’s performances against predetermined objectives on a quarterly and annual basis, while formal employee performance assessments are undertaken twice a year.

The Remuneration Policy and Strategy are aligned to the Performance Management Policy in order to ensure that the performance management process at Umgeni Water is development orientated and intended to cultivate effective human resources management and career development. As a result, appraisals are constructively used to provide feedback and coaching to individual employees concerning their job performance.

Through this structured performance management system, Umgeni Water ensures implementation of its strategic goals through skilled, competent, motivated and engaged employees, while recognising and rewarding good performance.

For enquiries please contact:

Skills Development Facilitator
P O Box 9
PIETERMARITZBURG
3200
Office:033 3411346
Facsimile:033 3411086