Cement producer PPC reports that it will provide homes for more than 300 mainly semiskilled employees of the company who do not qualify for government Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) housing, but are unable to afford home loans.
The South African Constitution grants every person in the country the right to housing. However, PPC states that, with the current economic conditions and an ever-growing waiting list for RDP houses, it has become increasingly difficult for South Africans to own decent homes.
Discussions were held with over 3 000 employees across all levels and at all PPC facilities. It was during these engagements that some employees indicated that decent houses were not affordable.
PPC then implemented the employee housing support programme, which will run over the next three to four years.
The first of the new homes, whose owner, Edward Ringani, retired after more than 35 years of service to PPC, has been completed in Mmapela, Mokopane, in Limpopo. Four more houses will follow in quick succession.
“I would like to thank PPC CEO Ketso Gordhan for helping me and my family to finally become homeowners. I have been working for PPC for many years and it has been a phenomenal experience,” says Ringani.
He has, since 1984, attempted to build his house in Mmapela, under poor conditions, manufacturing his own bricks and building by himself over weekends. His house was built in 1995, with no foundation. The living conditions of the house were poor.
PPC is driven by its Kambuku philosophy, which is the company’s ‘way of life’ that creates a healthy, rewarding and satisfying working environment in which every employee has opportunities to contribute to the success of the organisation and their own development, and be recognised for excellence.
Kambuku is a Tsonga word which means ‘great tusker’, referring to an elephant bull’s characteristics of tenacity and loyalty. “It sums up PPC’s value-based management philosophy,” the company states.
It is through this philosophy that, last year, Gordhan initiated a process to assess the effectiveness of the Kambuku initiatives, during which he and senior managers engaged in conver- sations across the business.
The company will also offer these employees the necessary training and the technical know-ledge to successfully transact for their new homes and maintain them.
PPC executive for special projects Yogesh Narsing says that the main difference between this initiative and other prior industry initiatives is that PPC will ensure employees receive all the training necessary to successfully manage and maintain their new homes.
“We try to create a great working environment for our employees at PPC and, from their feedback, I believe we have achieved that. Further, the company has grown its footprint in Southern Africa and remains committed to a standard of excellence in all its dealings and to ensuring added value for all its stakeholders. For elephants, sustainable competitive advantage lies in size. For PPC, it rests in its people,” says Narsing.
“I believe that a happy emplo- yee is a loyal and productive one. This employee housing support initiative is just one aspect of how PPC cares for its people and PPC remains committed to ensuring that, as an organisation, we go beyond the cement bag,” concludes Narsing.