Our skills
(Intellectual capital)
The knowledge and intellectual property Grindrod uses to gain and maintain a competitive advantage. Capital outcomes include innovative and bespoke product offerings and a well-governed business, determined by inputs such as globally respected brands, proven systems and structures, specialised skills and a sound knowledge base.

Grindrod manages and develops its intellectual capital from board level to the shop floor, to protect its competitive edge. Skills development is central to maintaining and expanding the business and niche advantages it has built up over decades, with objectively determined incentives to reward individual contributions to the business where appropriate.

The performance of the three divisions are testimony to intellectual capacity in clusters of excellence, able to consistently combine infrastructure and expertise to offer tailor-made logistical solutions, outperform shipping rate indices and benchmark-beating investment solutions for private, corporate and institutional clients.

Support services are centralised at divisional level, to provide operations with specialised assistance in common functions required, such as safety measures and interventions, human resources and information technology. The move away from the formal shared-services structure implemented in prior years at group level was to provide continuity through scaled down divisional services in anticipation of the Shipping division Spin-off.

Skills development

Training and development comprise formal training, professional development and on-the-job coaching, internally and through external service providers. Training spend in 2017 totalled R5.7 million (2016: R8.6 million).

    2017   2016 % change
Training interventions attended   1 479   2 691 45.0
Percentage of interventions attended by designated group employees   84   85 1.2
Learners attending learnership programmes   94   133 29.3
Percentage of learners from designated groups   97   95 2.1

The Grindrod Shipping Training Academy in Durban has been a prominent developer of talent since 1975, offering courses required by the marine and allied industries. The academy is accredited by the South African Marine Safety Authority and recognised by the UK-based Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Courses cover both seafarer and shore-based careers. During 2017, 2 166 students attended the academy.

Human Resources continues to establish and maintain uniform policies, procedures, terminology and benchmarks. These include regulatory and business-enhancement measures such as employment-equity compliance, the B-BBEE scorecard, job grading, performance management, succession planning and employee relations.

During 2017, the discipline managed the reduction in employee numbers necessitated by restructuring and the closure of non-core businesses.

In preparation for the reduced service demand, HR exited the SAP Human Capital Module (HCM) modules in favour of right-sized modules to provide for human-capital and performance management at Freight Services. The centralised payroll was outsourced.

Information Technology continues to support divisions in their execution of company strategy. During the year, activities focused on right-sizing its product offering in response to the changes in group strategy.

The discipline:

  • Further improved anti-hacking measures in response to the global increase in security breaches;
  • Achieved King IV compliance by implementing enhancements following a gap analysis against the requirements of this code; and
  • Geared itself for the implementation of pending enhancements to the Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act, such as the encryption of personal data electronically stored by an organisation.