I n the face of fierce competition for engineering skills SANRAL is able to attract and retain talent through good working conditions, skilled human resource management and growing its own talent.
This is done through a system that offers grants and scholarships at school and university levels and its Technical Excellence Academy (TEA) for young engineering graduates.
A feature of SANRAL’s employee profile in recent years has been a significant rise in the number and percentage of black and female employees. Some 78% of staff members are black and almost half are women – with growing percentages in middle, senior and top management positions.
A strong pipeline of talent is built through SANRAL’s educational support programmes. The agency offers financial support to learners in Grades 10-12 who show promise in maths, science and English.
More than 200 scholarships with a value of R4.1m were awarded in the 2017/18 financial year. Bursaries are available for undergraduate and post graduate studies in engineering and other fields directly related to the agency’s core business. These grants cover university fees, accommodation, book and living allowances and provide access to the company’s employee wellness programme.
Contractors working on SANRAL projects and service providers to the agency are required to incorporate internships into their staffing plans as part of the tendering processes. These programmes open doors to professional environments for many black graduates – especially in the rural provinces.
The Technical Excellence Academy – located in Port Elizabeth – assists engineering graduates to get the practical experience required to obtain professional registration.
The programme serves as a valuable bridge between the academic training of engineers and their professional careers through on-the-job training and access to SANRAL’s specialised software and laboratory facilities.
M ajor upgrades in recent months to SANRAL’s information technology system have enabled the agency to work more productively and add greater value to its management of the country’s road network.
This amounted to a total investment of R185m in major strategic IT projects. An outdated data centre was improved, and business processes were streamlined resulting in higher levels of efficiency and better performing systems.
SANRAL employees now have access to mobile apps and cloud-based capabilities that offer them expande
options to work from anywhere and on any device. Cyber security was upgraded to deliver cuttingedge threat detection, threat intelligence and incident response services to the agency. A team of seasoned security experts are available to respond in real time to cyber-attacks.
Productivity and knowledge-sharing were further enhanced with the deployment of Office 365 – the line of subscription services offered by Microsoft, as part of the Microsoft Office product line. The recent installation of a video conferencing facility has resulted in reductions in the cost and time spent on travelling between SANRAL’s head office and the regions.
M any South Africans now recognise the value that the national road network adds to their lives because of SANRAL’s innovative communication and marketing activities.
Creative advertising campaigns on TV and radio, on billboards and in the print media are communicating the message of a competent agency that manages the country’s primary roads in a modern and professional manner.
SANRAL engages with the print and electronic media through statements, interviews and opinion pieces. The value of the media coverage devoted to SANRAL in the past year amounts to more than R95m. The publication facility produced 16 supplements that were inserted into national and regional media, 11
newsletters and 10 booklets and special publications. Roadshows and workshops are regularly conducted in all nine provinces to keep local communities informed about SANRAL’s activities and future plans. This programme reached a peak in the past year prior to the release of SANRAL’s new long-term strategy – Horizon 2030 – and its Transformation Policy. Communication is also an important element of SANRAL’s road safety programme, which raises awareness and encourages responsible behaviour on the roads.
SANRAL also has a notable presence on multiple social media platforms and regularly posts items that are of value to the public, including information about road conditions, traffic updates and warnings about incidents.
BUILDING SOUTH AFRICA THROUGH BETTER ROADS
People's Guide 2018