Gibela Rail Has Deeply Invested In South Africa’s Socio-Economic Success Through Skills Training
By Dr Buyiswa Mncono-Liwani – Corporate Services Executive
South Africa is facing a number of social and economic challenges that require institutional support.
Gibela’s mandate is to elevate commuter rail as the transport mode of choice, revitalise the South African rail sector, drive inclusive economic growth and uplift communities.
In January 2021 fifteen Gibela middle managers graduated from a leadership training programme through the Wits Business School. They are the latest batch in a long line of Gibela employees who have benefited from the millions of rands we have invested in staff training.
Our 2020 social and economic impact report shows that a total of R23-million was spent on employee education and training between January 2014 and March 2020 – 1 450 Gibela staff members benefited from this programme. Out of this number 78% were unskilled employees and 77% were classified as “youth”. It is also worth noting that 50% of them are women, a further demonstration of our commitment to give equal opportunities to women.
Beyond the considerable return on investment that comes from keeping our employees up to date through continuous training, Gibela is a proudly South African company, deeply invested in ensuring that South Africa meets its National Development Plan objectives. That’s why we have invested in education and training beyond the confines of our train manufacturing plant in Ekurhuleni.
Last year the Covid-19 pandemic magnified South Africa’s battle with unemployment, deprived education, poverty and inequality. Research shows that, just as elsewhere, it is South Africa’s lower-skilled and less-educated citizens who have been the hardest hit by job cuts brought about by the pandemic.
Nearly 700 training opportunities have been made available for employees to travel abroad to be trained in fields such as design, maintenance, engineering, logistics, and artisanal skills. In addition, Gibela workers have been trained in environmental, health and safety, arc welding, special process torque tightening, internal hazard identification and risk assessment, including railway safety awareness. Those who successfully completed their type of training gained transferable skills that can be used not only in the rail sector but in other sectors as well.
Gibela aims to contribute to South Africa’s economic growth with a focus on transformation, and we believe we are achieving this with our careful approach to staff training and skills development.