Our relationships
(Social and relationship capital)
Defines the value Grindrod builds through engagement and information- and resources-sharing to achieve stakeholder well-being. Strategic relationships, engagement structures and host communities provide the inputs to develop mutually beneficial stakeholder involvement, an engaged workforce and improved community sustainability.

Grindrod practices transparent and proactive stakeholder engagement to underpin the achievement of its financial, social and environmental objectives. Stakeholder groupings comprise:

  • 9 305 ordinary and 1 966 preference shareholders and the investment community – communications and meetings to share financial and operational news.
  • 5 232 employees on six continents – continuous engagement, from start to end of employment, on business performance and career and personal growth.
  • Ten unions and three bargaining councils – maintaining an open-door policy with unions (to which 11 percent of employees belong) and bargaining councils (five percent) in the interests of employee well-being.
  • Business partners – engagement to optimise mutual business commitment and the value of infrastructural assets.
  • Almost 4 500 customers within integrated supply chains – engaged through personal interaction, events and written communication to ensure that Grindrod strategies and operations remain aligned to customer requirements and delivery expectations.
  • More than 3 900 suppliers in the procurement chain – personal engagement and news updates to ensure that procurement is managed transparently and optimally and that suppliers are informed of initiatives to improve the delivery of services and products.
  • Business associations and non-government organisations – commitment to and interactions with bodies that collectively further the objectives of sound governance, corporate and societal sustainability and social responsibility. Memberships and/or associations include NBI, WESSA, SAICA, Wildlands and Adopt-A-School.
  • 31 countries, each with local and national governments, infrastructure authorities, governing bodies, NGOs and communities – engagement to promote and maintain sustainable and mutual value-add.
  • Government departments and regulatory bodies – engagement through meetings, reports and written communications to ensure mutual understanding of compliances and compliance targeting.

In 2017, Grindrod successfully engaged with stakeholders across continents, time zones, jurisdictions and disciplines to initiate and progress the diverse and complicated process of listing Shipping on an international stock exchange.

Similarly, Financial Services excelled in its engagement with diversely focussed stakeholders to ensure that payments to SASSA card-holder beneficiaries continue without interruption during the transition period to the next dispensation. The division remains committed to contribute to the success of negotiating a solution in which the interests of the beneficiaries are the priority.

Grindrod’s social responsibility investments favour education and environmental projects. During the year, the three divisions contributed R8.69 million, of which 76 percent (R8.56 million) was channelled to education projects.

The three major beneficiaries were the Blue Fund (R1.5 million), the Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust (R600 000) and the Adopt-A-School Foundation (R900 000).

The Blue Fund was established in 2014 by Grindrod Bank in partnership with the Wildlands Conservation Trust, which manages projects aimed at building robust ecosystems that support human well-being and sustainable development. The Blue Fund targets projects aimed at the upliftment of coastal communities and the conservation of coastal marine ecosystems, such as:

  • The Blue Fund Ocean Stewards programme, a socio-economic development initiative, in its third consecutive successful year, sponsored by Grindrod. The programme gives selected marine students an all-encompassing experience in off-shore research aboard an oceanic research vessel, under the guidance of marine scientists. The experience adds depth to the students’ post-graduate studies.
  • The Blue Crew, a project established under the Wildlands Wastepreneur model, with the aim of creating sustainable livelihoods through pollution-control initiatives. The Blue Crew has been structured into two small businesses, each with a crew of women collecting recyclable material washed into the Durban Harbour or onto Durban’s beaches. The material is bought for recycling, thereby creating a sustainable model for growth into new areas.
  • Whale Time, a project that brings science, conservation, tourism and community together to update scientific knowledge of humpback whale populations and to engage the public in whale sightings and associated distribution and behaviour patterns. The project includes an online platform on which people can share photographs and sighting information. The project focusses on research, building public knowledge, promoting east coast whale migration in terms of both conservation and tourism and guiding communities to participate in whale eco-tourism.

Adopt-A-School support targeted three schools in 2017:

  • The Ndukwenhle and Inhlakanipho High Schools, in the form of mathematics and physical support for 278 grade-12 learners and a moral regeneration programme addressing topics such as career guidance substance abuse, ill-disciplined behaviour and health education.
  • The Hlahlindela High School learners benefitted from a strategic planning and boot camp to empower learners to work towards realising their full potential.

The Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust is the channel through which Grindrod sponsors university students. The trust also provides leadership training, personal empowerment camps and a mentoring programme to support and empower bursary recipients.

* Restated to reflect effective shareholding of joint ventures and associates