Sustainability strategy in action – Human resources

People are at the core of delivering a Tsogo Sun experience, both front and back of house.

At the guest level, Tsogo Sun does not sell a system or manufacture a physical product for resale. Every aspect of the business, from the gamer's experience at the roulette wheel to the dining experience in the restaurants, to the check in and check out at the front desk, requires an interaction with people of the group. A pool of qualified, trained and talented people is required to deliver these experiences, supported by empowered management and relevant support services.

At the corporate level, the group is reliant on executives and managers who can identify and manage both risks and opportunities and implement appropriate responses. These individuals, both senior and junior, need to apply long-term thinking and avoid quick and unsustainable fixes.

In order to attract and retain the appropriate talent pool, the group needs to ensure that all aspects of the employee's experience, including but not limited to, remuneration and incentivisation, is properly structured.


  2018   2017  
Management and control (revised codes) score 10.3/19   10.4/19  
Verified training spend as a % of payroll 5.2%   4.3%  
Staff resignations 10.2%   9.8%  


Human capital management

We believe that the sustainable growth of our group depends as much on our people as it does on our operational expertise. Our employment policies are designed to empower and develop employees, and create an environment in which each employee can perform and grow to his or her fullest potential. We also strive to attract and retain the highest calibre staff while at the same time redressing historical imbalances, where they may exist.

Job creation and employee stability

The group contributes approximately 15 600 direct jobs and 24 500 combined direct and indirect jobs (including contract staff employed by third-party service providers) where our operations are situated in South Africa.

Staff resignations increased slightly to 10.2% (2017: 9.8%) and remains acceptable for the hospitality industry and is testimony to the favourable employee engagement and values-based leadership approach across the group.

Employee development

Training spend for the year is R183 million, which at 6.6% of payroll, has increased from the prior year. The group spent R166 million on training and development initiatives provided to black people during the year, which is 6.0% of payroll. In accordance with the BBBEE revised codes – tourism sector scorecard targets, the spend is measured against the national black economically active population targets. For this reason, the group's verified spend on BBBEE training and development amounted to R145 million, which is the equivalent of 5.2% of payroll. The group's BBBEE score for skills development is 19.3 out of 20 within the scorecard framework. In the year the group employed 2 121 people on learnerships and provided 1 201 unemployed people with learnership opportunities. Of the unemployed people on learnerships, the group employed 231 people after they had completed their training.

Through its integrated academy, during the year Tsogo Sun continued with the roll out of the new learning strategy, based on international best practice. This has resulted in a steady supply and promotion of talented individuals within the organisation and a focus on the basic skills of our frontline staff. The new strategy has also resulted in a reduction of inefficient training time off the job and an increase in on-the-job learning. In addition, management development has become more targeted, focused and customised, resulting in increased efficiencies to the business. A renewed focus on just-in-time learning based on specific business needs has also increased efficiencies and the quality of learning and development throughout the business. Tsogo Sun continues to demonstrate its commitment to investing in the education, training and development of its employees through the activities of the Tsogo Sun Academy.

With the focus on youth employment, Tsogo Sun has continued to support work integrated learning in the industry ensuring relevant work experience is gained for future employment.

Employee engagement

The group operates under a single engagement programme called livingTSOGO, which reflects the values, culture and behaviours common to the business. Employees participate in the components designed to bring them to life including livingTSOGO World which incorporates the group's induction programme and livingTSOGO Moments which provides recognition and rewards.

Malungisa Meli from Hemingways Casino won the 2017 livingTSOGO Ambassador Award from a selection of five regional champions. A survey was undertaken in August 2017 that measured, in the opinion of employees, whether the group is living up to our values of teamwork, service, opportunity, growth and ownership. In total, 9 550 employees participated in the survey, which is a 9% increase in participation on the last survey undertaken in 2014 and the results reflected an improvement in 17 of the 18 categories surveyed.

Employee wellness

Tsogo Sun has always sought to find ways to help our employees to manage their health. This past year has seen an increase in the provision of company hosted health programmes, ranging from increased chronic health management, running groups, exercise classes and weight loss programmes. These are in addition to the formal structures in place to support our healthy workforce such as employee clinics in Tsogo Sun gaming, an employee assistance helpline, wellness days and executive medicals. During the year, a total of 57 143 primary healthcare consultations were provided at employee clinics located at our casino complexes and this has contributed positively to the management of absenteeism within the group. Healthy meal options are also provided to our employees in canteens at our hotels and casinos.

Health and safety

The gaming and hospitality industries are safe environments relative to many other industries. Tsogo Sun properties undergo rigorous safety inspections as part of the Organisational Resilience Management Standard audit process, and deviations from the agreed standards, as well as incidents and events, are reported and resolved.

No employee fatalities as a result of health and safety incidents occurred at any of our properties. The group maintained an average lost-time injury frequency rate of 1.73. This equates to the number of injuries which rendered an employee unfit for duty for one shift or longer per 200 000 hours worked.

Employment equity

The principles of empowerment and diversity are entrenched into the ethos of Tsogo Sun. The table below reflects our employment equity and includes South Africa only. It excludes the approximately 8 900 contract staff employed by third-party service providers and 1 510 staff employed outside South Africa.

  South African male   South African female   Foreign nationals    
Employees African Indian Coloured White   African Indian Coloured White   Male Female Total  
Permanent 3 637 506 469 595   4 268 411 543 579   81 35 11 124  
Executives and management 472 183 113 397   470 125 122 335   30 10 2 257  
Supervisory and skilled 1 626 203 202 139   1 668 189 250 207   36 17 4 537  
Other employees 1 539 120 154 59   2 130 97 171 37   15 8 4 330  
Operational support 1 675 32 61 17   2 437 40 116 25   55 22 4 480  
Executives and management 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 1   1 0 2  
Supervisory and skilled 498 12 16 9   711 24 36 16   14 4 1 340  
Other employees 1 177 20 45 8   1 726 16 80 8   40 18 3 138  
Total 2018 5 312 538 530 612   6 705 451 659 604   136 57 15 604  
Total 2017 4 423 525 428 591   5 177 415 547 601   103 44 12 854  

Permanent employees work full time or on a flexible roster basis according to business levels and are guaranteed a minimum number of hours work per month. Operational support staff generally work on a flexible roster basis according to business levels and have no guaranteed hours.

There was an increase in the group's headcount because of the employment of an additional 1 301 operational support staff who were previously employed through temporary employment services and 1 636 employees of Vukani and Galaxy. The overall percentage of female employees increased slightly to 53.4% of the workforce in 2018.

We ensure that our workforce reflects our focused employment equity philosophy. In this regard, in accordance with our verified management and control results, presently black representation at senior management level is 31.4%, at middle management level it is 54.3% and at junior management level it is 78.2%. The representation of black employees throughout the group is currently 91.0%.

The main challenges in employment equity remain in the areas of executive, senior management and black disabled employees. The Tsogo Sun Academy assists in facilitating and fast tracking the development of our employees' skills, enabling our development pipeline.


Tsogo Sun recognises the right to freedom of association of employees and we recognise that collective bargaining forms an integral part of labour relations. Of the 11 489 employees in the South African operations who are eligible to join a union, 2 445 (21%) are union members.

Union membership has increased compared to the same period in the previous year from 2 004 to the current 2 445. This is largely due to new unions recruiting the operational support staff ('OSS') who previously fell outside of the bargaining unit as defined in the collective bargaining arrangements that the company has with the older and more established unions.

Human resources

We endeavour to maintain transparent and constructive relations with our employees and to encourage a culture of engagement within the business. In addition, the consistent approach we have applied to determining annual increases over many years, including during times of economic downturn, has resulted in a low level of industrial action over the past decade.


Employee development

International best practice dictates that, in order to create a productive learning culture, line management needs to be properly equipped to progressively develop employees in their charge, and to ensure basic frontline services are provided to the guest. This objective will receive significant attention in the coming year, providing tools and support to managers to support learning and development in the workplace and increasing the use of technology in order to further extend the reach of learning and development within the group. Furthermore, focus will be placed on growing learners within the organisation and equipping them with skills in order to get faster and maximum benefit from interventions provided by the academy.

Employee engagement

An online resource platform will be introduced to assist with the integration of the engagement survey results and to align them to strategic plans. Post-survey support and engagement meetings with the executives across the group are under way in order to address the outcomes of the survey and respond appropriately.

Monthly recognition of employees through livingTSOGO Moments is ongoing.