Southey, as an engineering services company, consists of eight key businesses that operate across a number of different industries and market sectors.

To capture the extent of each division’s environmental and social initiatives a consolidated database was created in which the projects offered by the respective divisions are split into five categories namely: social training, social health, Corporate Social Responsibility, social enterprise development and environmental. Additionally, each project’s details regarding its description, respective category, target, annual spend, the current source of funding and the number of employees affected were captured.

The initiatives implemented are significantly beneficial not only to the local communities but have also achieved national recognition. In the social training category Dormac is the leading division and offers extensive training courses and tests for their learners to achieve a successful qualification in a variety of skilled trades. Some of the training projects offered include:

  1. Accelerated Artisan Training Programmes (AATP): This is an engineering training programme with a traditional 3 year training period. Dormac, however, pioneered the programme and together with MerSeta (an educational institution) and the Department of Higher Education condensed the training period to 18 months. The programme was altered to involve stricter entrance requirements and a more active role by the Dormac managers during the training process.
    • Dormac is rated as one of the top artisanal training companies in South Africa and has received numerous national awards. MerSeta and the Department of Higher Education extend regular invitations to the trainers at Dormac to present on their insights and expertise.
    • To date Dormac has qualified over 800 artisans – some are appointed in senior managerial positions while others are formal trainers employed by Further Education Colleges around the country.
  1. Fitters, turners, welders and boilers training courses: These courses are usually offered to 2-10 learners at a time and focus on teaching the relevant engineering skills. The courses are split into four phases that can be completed in any order. Once the phases are complete, the learners write a “trade test” – this is a qualified government-controlled exam that is required to receive the trade. Some of the training courses are exclusively offered to women.
  1. Offshore survival course: This is a high skill training course offered in Cape Town and Saldanha that is designed for Dormac staff who go on board offshore structures such as oil rigs
  1. Onsite monitoring training course: Involves the teaching of necessary skills to conduct safe and professional onsite monitoring.

The contracting and manufacturing divisions offer mandatory training programmes that target between 2-10 learners at a time, enabling them to obtain the relevant qualification.

In the social enterprise and CSR categories, the contracting division and Dormac are involved in a number of noteworthy initiatives:

  1. Donations to various hospitals, charities and schools across the country: These institutions typically involve ~90% previously disadvantaged people.
    • One initiative included a “Learn to Earn” programme that achieved 89% completion rate (394 learners out of 442) after which 80% either established themselves as economically active or are in the process of furthering their education. Of the successful graduates, 15% have started their own businesses.
  1. Dormac has established a range of social enterprise development partners that include:
    • “Camrod” – focuses on steel fabrication projects, ship repair and tack construction. Dormac provides all tools, equipment and consumables to the company.
    • “Macdor” – consists of Dormac’s ex-diving team. Dormac owns the diving equipment and has facilitated the establishment of the enterprise.
    • “Damcor” – focuses on the blasting and painting aspect of the business and is headed by previous Dormac managers – these managers are equipped with specific jobs that benefit both Dormac and “Damcor” through enhanced performance in the contracted jobs.
  1. The consolidated annual spend on each category across all divisions in FY2014 and 2015 is:
  • Social training: R 19 139 783
  • Social CSR: R 824 408
  • Social health: R 6 726
  • Social enterprise development: R 58 118 653
  • Environmental: R40 000

The quality and extent of the various initiatives is significant and in our experience have a positive impact not only on the local communities but also across South Africa. The funds are predominately obtained from internal resources and MerSeta.