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Haw and Inglis

“We want to be responsible citizens of SA”

company report

“We want to be responsible citizens of SA” Editorial – Christian Jordan Production – Hal Hutchison

In this, the second part of our focus on road construction giant Haw and Inglis, we speak to HR Director Chrystal Poole, to find out about the initiatives in place to ensure that the large workforce performs to its full potential.

Last month, IndustrySA spoke to Haw and Inglis, one of the country’s leading road construction companies and we found out more about their day-to-day activities and major contracts underway right now. This month, we delve deeper to find out more about the people behind the business. With nearly 2000 employees, Haw and Inglis is a significant employer and effective management and development of such a vast workforce is challenging. The company has many initiatives in place to ensure that all of its people have access to training and development opportunities and HR Director, Chrystal Poole, tells IndustrySA that Haw and Inglis is now recognised as one of the top ten companies in the country for its Corporate Social Investment (CSI) activities. “The Sunday Times judged us on our spend in monetary value, into CSI. We were judged on our contribution to education, HIV and the community in South Africa.


“There is legislation for a company like us that states that a percentage of our profit after tax has to be spent on CSI. “We don’t just do it because of legislation. As responsible citizens in South Africa we believe we need to focus our efforts on the problem areas in the country. Accordingly we plough a lot into our youth and education. We take it very seriously. We find out where the resources are needed and then we invest in those areas. Over the last few years it has been mainly in education, youth and HIV Aids.” This investment by Haw and Inglis is not just for personal gain. The company is very aware that their CSI and training schemes benefits the whole industry, which in turn benefits the whole economy. “We look at youth and education to benefit the whole construction industry, not just us as a company. We are working towards ensuring that there are enough engineers and civil technicians in South Africa to serve the entire industry,” says Chrystal.

Haw and Inglis

A LESSON FOR HEADMASTERS? One of the most recent initiatives set into action by the company involves education but this project has taken a slightly different approach. “We work a lot with schools” says Chrystal, “right now we are supporting an initiative to up-skill and upgrade Headmasters. We’ve always focussed on school children but at the end of the day if you do not also focus on the Head the impact of the initial investment is limited to the scholars we focus on. The investment into the Head will ultimately impact on all the scholars in the school. “We are sponsoring some Headmasters to up-skill them and ensure that they are the best Headmasters that they can be working towards having more and more schools of excellence. This project will give them a MBA style type course through the University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business.” Haw and Inglis need schools to perform well, the industry requires young people with strong backgrounds

in maths and science, after all, the company is building and maintaining some of the biggest, most important roads in the country.


company report “The program with the Headmasters started this year and will run throughout the whole year. It’s called the Principals Academy. Apart from the UCT GSB course components the programme use experienced respected individuals from education to support, guide and mentor the Head on the programme. We support this program so we can have some influence over the schools, it is accepted that functional schools have a competent Head so we reversed it and said let’s make sure we have a competent Head first, and then the school will become functional organically,” says Chrystal. The company also continues its support of schools and hopes that this will result in more students gaining access to tertiary education and engineering courses. While their work with educational institutes is mainly in the Cape Town area, CSI projects are rolled out nationwide and Haw and Inglis has registered a separate company to manage all of the issues surrounding its people and the wider community.

PHANDULWAZI Phandulwazi is the subsidiary responsible for handling all of Haw and Ingils training, development and upliftment activities. Established in 1996, Phandulwazi (Xhosa for ‘exploring the knowledge’) has proved invaluable in helping the road construction specialists to manage their giant workforce and unlock its potential. “Phandulwazi was established as a training company. It’s actually registered as a sister company to Haw and Inglis and through Phandulwazi we run all the training for the company, we run the HIV Aids program and we run the occupational health care program. “Student bursaries and recruitment also fall under Phandulwazi,” says Chrystal.


Training and development at Haw and Inglis is not only available to new employees and young apprentices. There are schemes in place which cater for the development of every member of the team, from top to bottom. “Training is happening at all levels, from general worker or labourer, right through to management. We have generic training and management training where we identify young talent and try to form a career path for them,” says Chrystal.

MENTORING One of the most successful training schemes run by the company has been a mentorship program which sees select employees, identified for their management potential, paired up with an experienced member of the team who will transfer knowledge through regular meetings and guidance from the HR team. “We have a mentoring program for personnel who are exceeding in their trades” says Chrystal, “they are assigned a mentor who is usually a senior employee or contracts manager and they basically have a direct line and regular meetings with the mentor. We ensure all the formalities such as training and development needs and skills audits are arranged. The program is for development of foreman, civil technicians and engineers. “We don’t put everyone on the mentorship program; we only put in people who we believe we can fast-track to the top. We have a succession plan in place for most of our positions.” As mentioned above, the training and development programs devised by the company are designed to have a positive effect on the entire industry. While they do achieve this, they also add to the reputation of Haw and Inglis, a reputation which casts them as a preferred employer in the road construction industry.

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company report

“Training is happening at all levels, from general worker or labourer, right through to management”

Another one of the recent initiatives which has again added to the host of services offered to employees is a program called Money Matters. “We just started a program called Money Matters where we teach employees the basics about money management. We empower employees and teach them the fundamentals behind credit cards, buying homes, buying cars and all personal financial matters. “We believe that this will result in a more confident and productive workforce and we want to be a preferred employer. Our development goes from school level, right through,” says Chrystal. Essentially, the company can now have a direct effect on people’s lives, right the way through from early year’s school to long term career path. You could


attend a school which has received sponsorship from Haw and Inglis and had its Headmaster trained as part of the company’s Principal Academy, then you could gain a bursary to study engineering at a university or university of technology through Haw and Inglis, you could then become employed by the company and have full training and mentoring given to you, seeing you fit into a management position while receiving practical lifestyle advice about your finances and a full health care program while raising your children in a school that may have been built by the company. After all this, you could eventually move to a retirement home that is supported by Haw and Inglis so it is clear that away from road building, the company is having a major effect on communities through its CSI and training initiatives.

JIT is a plant hire company supplying the following equipment for rental: Tracked Excavators Wheeled Excavators Wheel loaders

Tipper trucks Water tankers ADT’s

Rollers Dozers Graders

We also supply new, used and rebuilt equipment and we provide transport of earthmoving equipment. The new equipment we supply is the AMMANN compaction equipment range of which we are the dealers for the FREE STATE, NORTHERN CAPE and LESOTHO in SOUTH AFRICA We also supply new hydraulic excavator attachment equipment from RAMFOS. RAMFOS manufactures hydraulic hammers, hydraulic shears and hydraulic pulverisers for the complete range of excavators (1 to 70 ton excavators). JIT was established in 1999 as a plant hire and mining company with the goals of becoming one of the best providers of quality rental equipment in the country. Over the years we have acquired two products of which we distribute namelyAMMANN COMPACTION EQUIPMENT AND RAMFOS HYDRAULIC ATTACHMENTS .

Plot 24, Ribblesdale, Bloemfontein Tel: +27 (0)51 4331249 Email:

company report CAN YOU WORK FOR H&I? Even with all the training and development in the world, you still need to have certain qualities in order to be suitable for a job with Haw and Inglis. One of the key attributes is a good set of communication skills. “We look for personal attributes such as someone driven, someone who likes to work in the outdoors, someone with willingness to work away in rural areas and, importantly, you must be able to communicate well,” says Chrystal. “It doesn’t matter what your role is, you need to be able to communicate on all levels.” With Haw and Inglis, you could work in any area of South Africa. The company originated in Cape Town but now operates all over the country. Take a look at last month’s article to find out more about projects underway right now. “Right now, we employ 1850 people all over the country,” says Chrystal. “Our head office is in Cape Town but we have a footprint right across the country.” Even during the tough climate that has a grip on the global economy, where many companies have opted to streamline and cutback on costs, Haw and Inglis have refused to compromise on their commitment to training and development. “Within our company, we have continued regardless of the downturn in the industry. Training has always been a priority so it has not been impacted.” Even though training, development, and the focus on people has not been affected, it is still a costly investment for the company and while there is assistance from the state, more help would be appreciated. “The government allow companies to claim back a percentage of their tax SARS based on the training they carry out but it is not nearly enough to cover the whole cost of a training program so they could do more,” says Chrystal. “The CETA (Construction Education and Training Authority) are moving towards assisting companies with learnerships, bursaries and things like this so there is a move in the right direction.”

HIBBET After investing heavily in the workforce, it is important for the goals of the company to be aligned with the vision of the employees. It is often reported that a company will spend large amounts of money training and upskilling employees only for them to leave for a competitor. At Haw and Inglis, there is an ownership initiative


in place which rewards employees for loyalty and also contributes to the goals of BBBEE. “HIBBET is the Haw and Inglis Broad Based Empowerment Trust” explains Chrystal. “We have given shares, around 20%, to employees who have served the company for two years or more. Employees get dividends each year and those pay-outs are directly based on profits.” HIBBET was set up in 2006 and changed the ownership structure of the company with 15.6% of the shares being given to the trust at no cost to the employees. HIBBET is now the company’s biggest shareholder and the trust is an example of an industry leading initiative that is broadening the ownership base as contemplated by the BBBEE Act.

Haw and Inglis THE FUTURE So what is there left to do in terms of CSI and training and development? Haw and Inglis offer a full complement of services to employees but in the future the company will look at empowering other businesses as well as individuals. “We have an enterprise development program with seven companies on board who do sub-contract work for us. We assist them with the financial side of the business, recruitment, bursaries and training,” says Chrystal. This is again an example of the work that the company is doing to enhance the whole industry. “We are training to ensure that we have enough skilled engineers in these companies. We have assigned senior employees to help assist with the development of these businesses and therefore helping the entire industry to grow,” says Chrystal. It is clear that although concrete and asphalt are the materials behind the success of Haw and Inglis, the people remain the most important driver of what is one of southern Africa’s leading construction firms.

Last month, Haw and Inglis MD, Adrian Robinson said: “We have fantastic employees and a wonderful relationship with everyone… our employees are a critical part of our success,” and this month it has been made clear that this statement is very true.

Haw & Inglis

We’re very proud of the relationship we’ve built



(0)1603 618 000 East Coast Promotions Ltd, Ferndale Business Centre, 1 Exeter Street. Norwich, Norfolk NR2 4QB


IndustrySA Haw & Inglis article

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