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Looking to the future

The challenges faced by companies in the SHE arena do not normally change dramatically from year to year. AECI’s management continues to be concerned by two primary issues arising from the context in which most of the Group’s companies operate:

  • a serious skills shortage, impacting on the Company’s ability to staff operations with personnel who have the necessary aptitude, training and experience. The effect of this is felt particularly at supervisory and middle management levels; and
  • a culture of risk-taking, impacting on the level of care that employees take in the course of their employment not to cause harm or injury to themselves, to others or to the environment.
    The causes underlying this culture are numerous, but two major contributing factors are the inordinately high level of violent crime with which employees in South Africa have to co-exist, and a degree of fatalism arising from the high levels of untreated HIV-infection in the community.

Further training in the area of process safety will continue to be made available throughout the Group, as this is still seen as a weak area in AECI’s SHE efforts.

The bulk of AECI’s environmental legacy remediation spend is now complete and work in 2009 will focus mainly on monitoring.

It has been pleasing to report the improved performance of AECI in the areas of safety, health and the environment. The challenge now is not only to maintain this improvement but to better it in future years.

Jacques Pienaar

Jacques Pienaar
General manager
Group human resources and SHE
Woodmead, Sandton

23 February 2009