Habitat for Humanity calls on corporate assistance on the eve of its Nelson Mandela Day build event.
Habitat for Humanity South Africa, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, will be hosting its Nelson Mandela International Build Week from 17 to 21 July in Orange Farm, Gauteng. Together with more than 4000 volunteers, the organisation intends to build 67 homes, one for every year of Mandela’s public service.
“South Africa’s urban population is growing at a remarkable rate, while at the same time housing costs continue to increase,” says Habitat for Humanity South Africa national director Patrick Kulati. ”This prevents low-income families from entering the formal housing market.”
Habitat for Humanity South Africa builds not only homes, but communities too. Community members pinpoint the resources they need, while experts in the field focus on finding solutions. “We need the help of corporates to fund community projects from the get-go. This will allow us to strategically allocate the budget at the planning stages, providing communities with the developments they deserve,” says Kulati.
It’s for this reason that the organisation is calling on corporate teams to volunteer their time to help build the homes, and to use their financial resources to assist Habitat in building the community of Orange Farm beyond the build event. Habitat for Humanity South Africa has been involved with the Orange Farm Community since 2008. The current population is estimated to be 1 million – making it one of the largest informal settlements in South Africa. The initial four year engagement focused on building housing with volunteers, as a way to alleviate poverty. Since 2015 the strategy has evolved to include growing strong community-based leadership.
South Africa’s National Development Plan hopes to eliminate poverty by the year 2030 by promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society, among other factors. By helping build new homes, those involved become advocates in action and play a critical role in helping fellow South Africans take vital steps out of poverty. Corporates can use the Habitat for Humanity Build Week as a team-building exercise by getting their employees involved in the building programmes.
Habitat for Humanity South Africa will be celebrating its 21st birthday at the end of this year. With the assistance of dedicated and loyal volunteers over these last two decades, the organisation has been raising awareness of the right of all people to access to decent shelter and in this way positively impacting communities. “I’ve been a volunteer at Habitat for Humanity South Africa for 14 years and the feeling of making a difference in the lives of others never gets old,” says Liyanda Maseko, Habitat for Humanity SA volunteer.
Mandela Day is held annually on 18 July, Nelson Mandela’s birthday.
For more information about the Build Week or to find out how to get involved, visit www.habitat.org.za.
The World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA) taking place in Durban till Friday shows that South Africa continues to be a gateway to the rest of Africa, says Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.
During a roundtable discussion on “blue economies” South Africa’s Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa shared lessons on how African nations can utilize water resources, such as rivers and oceans, as pathways to reach markets and also use them to create more economic opportunities.
Several films have been confirmed including International Emmy Award Winning Director Rehad Desai’s The Giant is Falling, which will premiere in Durban at the People’s Economic Forum.
Unlocking industrial activity and intra-Africa trade, as well as growing Africa’s share of global trade is crucial for continental development, in his view.
The South African President noted many African youths lack rare skills which makes them unemployable.
Dozens of activists are demanding that delegates who are now attending the World Economic Forum on Africa be sent home in the same manner that President Jacob Zuma was during Monday’s May Day rally. These thoughts lead into this year’s theme of responsive and responsible leadership.
President Edgar Lungu will be accompanied Minister of Commerce and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe, Minister of Energy, David Mabumba and Presidential Affairs Minister, Freedom Sikazwe.
The Africa Competitiveness Report combines data from the Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) with studies on employment policies and city competitiveness.
Mr Mwamba said the President is among regional leaders that include President Jacob Zuma as host; SADC chairperson, King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Swaziland; President of Mozambique Filipe Jacinto Nyusi; President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni; and President of Namibia Hage Geingbo, among others. The forum met in Pretoria on 3 May 2017 where the circular economy was also discussed amongst other issues of mutual interest.
Past year the focus was on how Africa can benefit from the massive technological changes happening in the world – termed The Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The meeting has on its agenda initiatives for economic growth and social inclusion, digital economy and society, education gender and work, food security and agriculture, environment and natural resource security, health and healthcare and long-term investing and infrastructure.
In recent years, several major studies have demonstrated that having more female leaders, board members, managers, and supervisors lead to better business outcomes including higher levels of productivity, safety, and improved financial returns. More specifically, research referenced in the 2009 Women in Supply Chain report demonstrated that improving the proportion of women leads to higher financial returns for logistics companies. This insight was supported by the PWC Transportation & Logistics 2030 report, which stated that companies with the most women board directors outperformed those with the least by 16% in return on sales, and by 26% in return on invested capital.
These studies make a compelling business case for gender diversity and inclusion, which in previous decades has been largely ignored and under appreciated among the higher echelons of business leadership.
The studies consistently indicate that women have stronger communication and negotiation skills, bring a different perspective to understanding and solving problems, and are more meticulous in their approach to work. They also tend to score higher on tests of emotional intelligence (EQ). These qualities also make women strong collaborators, and their enhanced ability to communicate and connect with others is vital in a marketplace defined by complexity, disruption, and change.
Based on the growing body of evidence and the strong link to enhanced competitive advantage, a growing number of companies in South Africa and abroad are taking concrete steps to increase the number of women in key roles. This commitment to diversity and inclusion is also being undertaken as a business imperative in the wake of increasing social pressure to promote an inclusive economy, whereby the benefits of economic growth accrue to all who contribute. Increasingly, young entrants in the economy are also more aware of the importance of diversity and inclusion.
Key challenges and opportunities within transport and logistics
The transport and logistics industry is typically described as a ‘non-traditional’ employment pathway for women. This prevailing view, documented in the 2015 South Australian Freight Council (SAFC) report, is supported by a perception that because the majority of employees in this industry are men, most work in this industry are stereotypically ‘masculine.’
Moreover, in the transport and logistics industry, women are predominately employed in support functions and occupy managerial roles in the areas of finance, information technology, communications, human resources, business development, procurement, and quality and risk management. Men, on the other hand, are predominantly employed in the technical, operational and ‘physical’ roles.
Encouragingly, several market developments are creating viable opportunities to include women in ‘non-traditional’ roles in the local and global industry. These include advances in technology such as automatic gearboxes and hydraulic lifting equipment, the retirement of existing workers, increasing levels of education and improved technical training among new entrants in the workforce.
Understanding the barriers to inclusion
As it stands, the number of women in the transport and logistics industry remains low. According to the PWC Transportation & Logistics 2030 global report, the number of women participating in the industry is as low as 20% to 30%. In addition, less than 10% of employees in management positions are women.
Another major hurdle to consider is that within road transportation, there is a dearth of skilled drivers. This shortage is amplified when it comes to female drivers, who are even harder to find due to historical biases and the often unfavourable working conditions – including time away from family, safety issues in long-haul routes, sleeping alone in the truck at night at rest stops with no security, and sometimes having to load and offload goods from trucks.
There are other practical reasons why it remains difficult for women to be employed in the industry beyond road transportation. For one, some training and accommodation facilities are not designed to accommodate women and need upgrades that are gender-sensitive. In addition, the safety of women (and all employees) travelling across long distances cannot be guaranteed in any circumstances, despite the preventative measures that companies put in place.
Furthermore, the existing opportunities for more women to work in the industry are often thwarted by the attitudes and behaviour of most men who maintain unfair gender discrimination practices in the workplace. These practices perpetuate barriers to entry for women.
Sadly, these conditions present an unattractive image of the industry to many women seeking meaningful and rewarding employment. Also, several employment surveys indicate that most women do not know much about logistics in general. However, that is not to say that women lack an interest in transport and logistics. According to the SAFC report, women have the desire to pursue educational qualifications in transport and logistics, and on average, achieve higher education levels than their male counterparts.
Charting industry growth through diversity and workplace culture
The importance of workplace culture cannot be underemphasised – and without a doubt, gender and diversity are key components of any supportive company culture. Indeed, a KPMG Women’s Leadership Study states that today’s most successful enterprises are those that bring diverse perspectives and experiences to each new challenge, and that along with being the right thing to do, diversity and inclusion leads to strategic advantage. This is no different in the transport and logistics industry, whereby male and female employees can, through equal opportunity and a success-oriented mindset, co-design innovative solutions that enhance customer service, increase employee satisfaction and engagement, improve financial returns and enhance profitable growth.
It is, therefore, critical to foster a workplace culture whereby constructive dialogue about the importance and benefits of diversity and inclusion can take place between men and women. In our view, changes in culture require strong leadership and a clearly articulated strategy that is supported by commitment and demonstrable action. Simply employing more women in the industry is not enough – cultural and structural barriers must be removed.
A strategic and hands-on approach
We have taken a clear and strategic approach to incorporate Diversity and Inclusion as among our Vision 2020 strategic focus areas, with a goal to “maintain and enhance our competitiveness, credibility, and legitimacy in the eyes of all stakeholders by leading in diversity and inclusion across all of our businesses.” This is closely linked to the Group’s ‘People’ strategic focus area “to attract, develop and retain the people and skills required to deliver on our strategies and create shared value.”
In line with these commitments, the group has implemented several initiatives to attract, train, mentor and coach – as well as employ – women in transport and logistics. For example, we have established a professional driver learnership for 40 women within Barloworld Transport, a business unit of Barloworld Logistics. The programme supports 45 women who are currently completing the National Certificate in Professional Driving. The participants come from all walks of life – most of them were unemployed, many had never driven a vehicle before.
To date, 18 participants now have a Code 14 license, while others are able to successfully maneuver and reverse a truck around the yard, with some already starting on-road training. Notably, Barloworld Transport has also been successful in recruiting and employing female crane operators.
As Barloworld Logistics continues with these pioneering initiatives, the company is aware that as an employer seeking to gradually transform the industry, it is critical to foster a fair and equitable workplace that effectively addresses male and female attitudes and needs.
Key insights and the road ahead
Credible global research on diversity and inclusion, and particularly gender equality, has made a significant contribution to business by demonstrating that the meaningful inclusion of women at all occupational levels leads to better business outcomes. As previously noted, this includes higher levels of productivity and safety, better customer service, greater employee satisfaction and engagement, higher financial returns and more profitable growth.
These findings certainly carry over to the transport and logistics industry and thus present a unique opportunity for the industry to embrace this potential strategic advantage in the local market. Also, developments in technology, shifting demographic patterns and customer requirements play an important role, whereby the industry can actively leverage emerging opportunities to attract and employ women. Industries such as mining, engineering and construction have also recognised the importance and value of diversity and inclusion and are making promising progress in this regard.
To be clear, paving the road ahead for women in transport and logistics comes loaded with challenges and opportunities. Indeed, transforming the image of the industry, gender stereotypes and unfair workplace practices is not an easy task. However, with strong leadership commitment and action, it is possible to gradually remove barriers that prevent the broader participation of women in the industry. Our vision and strategic focus areas, as well as Barloworld Transport’s professional driver learnership for women, are tangible examples of commitment – at the highest levels – to promoting gender equity in the industry.
Looking forward, the inclusion of women in the transport and logistics industry is not only a business imperative but is increasingly part of a global push to promote inclusive and sustainable economic development.
Earn valuable CPD credits
Social Development 2017
The Department of Social Development Youth Development Programme aims to ensure that by the age of 25 all young people of the province should be economically self-sufficient, independent and healthy with positive family, personal and social relationships and should be actively involved in their community.
Youth Development Programme
Our Youth development programme provides a wide range of services, opportunities and support to young people as well as their families. Our programme builds on the strengths of young people through skills development, leadership training, mentoring and transitioning youth through different life and problem stages.
The programme is done on a holistic level utilising social inclusion of most youth with a specific focus on NEET’s Youth (Not in Education, Employment and or Training).
We provide youth cafes for youth to be innovative, creative and in a safe developmental environment through support, service and opportunities.
- Neet’s Youth – ( Not in Education , Employment and or Training)
- Life and Personal Skills Development
- Work Skills Development
- Leadership Development
- Internships through EPWP
- Informal Skills development
- Youth Cafes
Definition of Youth:
The Western Cape Youth Development Programme focuses on youths between 14 and 25 years of age.
For more information, contact:
Tel: 021 483 8997
Mtutuzeli Oswald Sitinga
Tel: 021 483 2535
Postal Address: Private Bag x 9112, Cape Town, 8000
Physical Address: 14 Queen Victoria Rd, Union House, Cape Town, 8000