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CONTENT KwaDukuza at a glance Problem statement Baseline report

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ED CORPORATE SERVICES: MR. S.W. KUBHEKA PRESENTATION NATIONAL HRM CONFERENCE: GALLAGHER CONVENTION CENTRE 05-06/03/2013. CONTENT KwaDukuza at a glance Problem statement Baseline report Employee satisfaction survey and findings Recommendations

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  • KwaDukuza at a glance
  • Problem statement
  • Baseline report
  • Employee satisfaction survey and findings
  • Recommendations
  • Rationale for developing and implementing the following HR policies:
    • Employee Retention Strategy
    • Succession Planning Policy
    • Career Management Programme
  • Activities involved and progress
  • Outputs and outcomes

KwaDukuza is a city in the making, a municipality with one of the fastest growing economies in South Africa.

  • Situated along eThekwini-iLembe-uMhlathuze Corridor and less than 50km away from the King Shaka International Airport.
  • Rich cultural heritage
  • The name KwaDukuza epitomizes the historical background of the area being the original site of King Shaka’s royal “isigodlo” and gravesite.
  • The municipality is also the home of iNkosi Albert Luthuli, the 8th President of the ANC and became Africa’s first Nobel Prize Laureate.
  • Highly diverse multi-racial population dynamics with a distinct eastern flavour linked to the earlier settlement of Indian families who worked on the sugar cane farms of the big sugar barons such as Sir Liege Hullet.
  • Strategically located between two big ports of Durban and Richards Bay, and off late the Dube Trade Port, with added advantage of investment opportunities

The North Coast (Dolphin Coast) is the upmarket tourism playground for the wealthy domestic and international tourists.

  • Pristine beaches and a relatively unspoilt natural environment which include Ballito, Zimbali, Salt Rock, Shaka’s Rock and Prince’s Grant.
  • The Ballito area, with its extensive housing and industrial development is currently one of the fastest growing real estate regions along the South African coast.
  • The growth has placed the municipality on the right developmental path
  • However, it has become increasingly difficult for it to provide funding and other resources to develop the required infrastructure to adequately exploit the opportunities and match the rapid growth.
  • Also experiences limited bulk electricity supply that negatively affects industrial development but plans are underway to build power stations and strengthen networks.

Buoyed by exponential growth, the municipality adopted the following vision:

  • By 2030, KwaDukuza shall be a vibrant city competing in the global village economically, socially, politically and in a sustainable manner”.
  • The IDP translates the vision into three phased periods, whereby during the period between 2011 and 2019, the municipality will attain the city status
  • During the last two periods the focus will be on consolidating and entrenching the city.

Identified pillars of municipal growth are infrastructure and economic development

  • This type of vision can be translated into reality by an ambitious leadership and committed human resources which will go beyond the normal developmental mandate, but aim for a high performance world class city.
  • But the HR department was identified as not operating at the required strategic level to be able to cultivate requisite human capital which could deliver the vision

In the late 2010, the municipality identified the following shortcomings within HR:

  • Management capacity within the HR department identified by the municipality as a weakness towards attainment of the municipal vision
  • Increasing levels of attritionamong employees, and in the main losing people with critical and scarce skills which are not easy to replace
  • HR department not providing reasons behind high levels of employee turnover as employee satisfaction survey has never been conducted
  • Relationship between the unions and the HR department at an all time low leading to delays in approving HR policies
  • Disputes on labour issues not being resolved speedily leading to frustrated employees
  • HR department only concerned with transactional matters at the expense of strategic HR issues
  • No sense of direction.

The municipality partnered with GIZ in developing a turnaround plan.

  • The first assignment was to conduct a mini-employee satisfaction survey and a baseline study to obtain different views on HR functioning in the municipality
  • This resulted in a baseline report with recommendations as phase 1 of the support to KwaDukuza

The municipality partnered with GIZ in developing a turnaround plan.

  • The first assignment was to conduct a mini-employee satisfaction survey and a baseline study to obtain different views on HR functioning in the municipality
  • This resulted in a baseline report with recommendations as phase 1 of the support to KwaDukuza

The survey results were captured in a baseline report and hereinafter are some of the critical findings:

  • No HR Strategy to back the realisation of the envisioned future city
  • The HR department does not a play strategic role and has no partnership with other departments
  • The environment under which HR employees works and positioning of the HR office displays a lack of realisation of the strategic importance of the HR department
  • HR policies outdated & not reflecting the ideals of a transforming institution.
  • No strategies aimed at employee advancement such as the career management strategy, employee retention strategy, succession plan.

No proper performance management system

  • Employee well being not prioritised such that no EAP
  • The relationship between the HR department and the Unions is very confrontational.
  • Lack of concern on how existing and prospective employees perceive the municipality, thus employee satisfaction surveys not conducted and employee turnover not managed.
  • No employment equity plan against which applicants at different occupational levels were appointed.
  • Absence of a collective management leadership style
  • Training is not co-ordinated and has no strategic link to the broader vision of the municipality.
  • Lack of capacity and essential resources within the HR department.


The KDM to develop an HR strategy.

Review organisational structure to accommodate a new HR structure

Transform HR department to prepare it to serve internal customers strategically and effectively.

Employ competent HR practitioners, starting with the appointment of a Deputy Director: HR who will serve strategic HR purpose

Capacity building of senior managers and supervisors to understand their roles and responsibilities in managing employees reporting to them. This to alleviate burden on HR employees so that they can focus on strategic issues

Embark on processes of evolving into a city status and learn from other municipalities.


Capacity building of HR staff a priority

Review existing HR policies and adopt new policies and strategies which seek to attract competent staff, retain and develop their careers and cultivate their talent

Conduct annual employee satisfaction surveys to constantly check on the levels of employees’ satisfaction & commitment

Review the municipality’s internal business processes and introduce uniform standard operating procedures (SOP’s) for operational efficiency

Engage in a benchmarking exercise in another municipality which has gone through the same



In October 2011, KDM through Corporate Services directorate developed and adopted a TEN YEAR PLAN which consists of SIX strategic thrusts namely:

1. Formulation and implementation of the HR development strategy framework

2. Develop and implement priority skills strategy

3. Develop and roll out integrated ICT governance framework

4. Reinforce stakeholder communication and participation fora.

5. Streamline administration as well as legal services

6. Enhance institutional productivity through developing a renewed cadre of local public service

Flowing from this generic CS/HR plan the KDM, through partnership with GIZ then zoomed into three critical HRD policy tools, namely: Employee retention strategy, succession planning and career management.



  • Employee Retention Strategy
  • Succession Planning Policy
  • Career Management Programme


  • Through the support provided by GIZ, the municipality was able to develop and adopt the following 3 HR policies as a direct intervention to address challenges identified in the baseline report:
  • Employee Retention Strategy
  • Succession Planning Policy
  • Career Management Programme


  • The Strategy proposes ten interventions to address employee attrition and achieve above objectives, as well as evolving into a world class organisation and subsequently attaining a vibrant city status
  • The ten retention enabling interventions are:
    • Employer branding and making KwaDukuza municipality an employer of choice
    • Changing the organisational culture
    • Creating a conducive work environment for employees to flourish and be committed to the municipality
    • Provide a sense of direction and clear purpose for employees
    • Communication
    • Structured employee training and development linked to career management
    • Prioritise succession planning, especially for critical positions
    • Performance management and employee recognition
    • Promotion and transfer opportunities
    • Clarity of roles and responsibilities and delegation of authority


  • The rationale and objectives of the succession planning policy is to: -
  • Ensure business continuity and preservation of institutional memory in the event of unplanned departure of key employees occupying critical positions;
  • Ensure that employees are prepared and trained for the roles and responsibilities of the future by developing talent;
  • Provide career growth opportunities that help to motivate and retain current employees;
  • Enable staff to become suitable candidates for future roles as the organization evolves;
  • Enable staff to develop so that they can be the ‘best possible candidate that they can be’ when an opportunity arises for recruitment
  • Create an ongoing supply of well trained, broadly experienced, and well motivated employees who are ready to step into key positions as and when required;
  • Define employee career paths, which will help the municipality to develop and retain a pool of suitably qualified employees;
  • Make the best use of internal staffing resources and talent by “growing our own”


  • The primary aim of adopting and implementing the career management programme is to meet the objectives of the municipality’s Employee Retention Strategy and the Succession Planning Policy, which are to ensure that there is a talent flow to create and maintain the required talent pool.
  • The objectives of the career management programme are:
    • To provide guidance and a structured support framework to plan employee careers and fulfill their potential;
    • To assist employees to achieve successful careers with the municipality in tune with their talents and ambitions; and
    • To provide those with potential with a promise of sequence of experience and learning activities that will equip them for whatever level of responsibility they have the ability to reach.

Phase 2 of the KwaDukuza project involved piloting the implementation of the succession planning policy and the career management programme using a sample of employees. These are the activities of the pilot:

  • A 6-month pilot implementation plan was adopted by GIZ and the MANCO whereby the Deputy Director: HR was appointed the champion to drive the project
  • Duration of the plan is 6 months, resumed in June and ends in December 2012 whereby it is envisaged that the Deputy Director: HR would have acquired the necessary skills to continue with the implementation of the strategic HR policies
  • First activity involved conducting workshops over 5-days to refresh employees on the new HR policies on employee retention, succession planning and career management
  • The workshops were also aimed and informing employees and unions that the HR policies will be piloted using sample employees.


  • Initiation of the succession planning pilot resumed in July 2012.
  • The activities carried out during the initiation stages include:
    • Assisting MANCO to identify key and critical positions in each department and 33 positions were identified
    • Placing them into 3 categories, namely:
      • Position “A”: positions that have a critical and strategic influence on the execution of the municipality’s strategy (IDP)
      • Position “B”: positions that are significant for the achievement of strategy execution but are not strategic in nature. Rather they are supportive roles
      • Position “C”: positions that are at lower levels but are specialist in nature
    • Supporting the Deputy Director: HR and immediate supervisors in conducting competence self-assessments of current skills, competencies and qualifications of people occupying these positions and these were verified by immediate supervisors

Employees were requested to complete competence forms, verify info by the supervisor, return completed form and a signed career plan to the Deputy Director

  • Of the 33 critical positions identified for the succession planning pilot project, 25 employees attended the competence assessment sessions, 15 returned completed assessment forms and only 6 returned signed career plans
  • Career plans had to be signed alongside the employees’ personal development plans
  • The rest of the employees either could not complete their own career plans or needed assistance in completing their career plans but failed to convey requests for assistance to the Deputy Director.
  • All Career Plans & PDP’s are in the custody of the municipality’s Skills Development Officer


  • Initiation of the career management pilot resumed in August 2012.
  • The activities carried out during the initiation stages include:
  • Inviting senior managers to select 2 candidates in each department to partake in the career management programme
  • The invitation attracted responses from the Finance Department whose two candidates are currently the only participants in the career management pilot project
  • The two candidates engaged in the self-assessment of their competence by completing the competence forms and reflecting on the contents with their supervisors
  • Both candidates completed and signed career plans accompanied by personal development plans


  • The participants are currently engaged in on-the-job training activities and are being monitored by their immediate supervisors
  • The Skills Development Officer will assist those participants who have indicated a desire to enrol for tertiary studies during the year 2013 in placing their applications for study bursaries from the municipality
  • On going monitoring of the implementation of the individual career plans
  • Some managers have attended the Leadership Enhancement Programme offered by GIZ which will enhance their overall management capabilities, including managing staff


  • The following outputs have been achieved so far:
  • KwaDukuza municipality has adopted a retention strategy and has begun to implement some of the strategic interventions aimed at attracting and retaining employees
  • The municipality has also heeded the call by employees to support employee career development and advancement by adopting a career management programme and a bursary policy
  • 68 employees were capacitated on the three HR policies and are now well aware of the strategic direction which the HR department is taking and now have a choice to advance their careers
  • A database of critical and scarce positions has been created.


  • The following outputs have been achieved so far:
  • Thirty three employees have been placed in the talent pool of critical positions and will have their skills honed to prepare them, not only for succession purposes, but also to be at the forefront of championing the Vision 2030 of attaining city status
  • Clear career and personal development plans, performance plans and regular assessment will inform the growth path of the employees in the talent pool
  • Six other employees now have structured career plans and personal development plans
  • Strategic investment in skills development focussed on professionalising careers in municipalities.
  • The municipality has adopted a bursary policy to support the implementation of the Succession Planning Policy and the Career Management Programme
  • Some employees drawn from the pilot project have registered for the qualifications in their career plans this year and have been awarded the municipal bursaries


  • It is envisaged that by the end of the pilot project, the following outcomes will be achieved in the medium to long term periods:
  • The Management Committee will have gained knowledge and understanding of how to carry out the critical steps in the succession planning and the career management processes.
  • By December 2012, the HR Deputy Director will have acquired knowledge and skills on how to identify critical skills, assess competence and establish a talent pool. He will have knowledge to manage the talent pool by ensuring that it is regularly updated.
  • The HR Deputy Director will have acquired adequate knowledge and skills to carry out HR strategic functions in support of succession planning and employee career development. This will assist him to advise and write reports for the ED: Corporate Services which will be of a strategic nature, rather than of a transactional nature only, and manage the training budget
  • Six employees have acquired skills to develop their own career plans and personal development plans. These employees will also have knowledge to monitor and assess their career progression, thus enabling them to build their growth paths and opening a window of opportunity for progression towards other levels within or outside their departments or municipality.


  • It is envisaged that by the end of the pilot project and over a medium to long term period, the following outcomes will be achieved:
  • The Skills Development Facilitator will gain an understanding and ability to attach tangible results and impact the municipality’s Workplace Skills Development Plan (WSDP) is making in the overall organisational development programme.
  • The municipality’s training budget will be channelled and invested in structured training which will yield tangible results and benefits for the employer
  • Overall HR Department standing within the organisation will begin to acquire a strategic character.
  • MANCO will gain appreciation of the relevance and strategic positioning of the HR department as the custodian of the most important asset of the municipality, i.e. the employees of the municipality.
  • MANCO will have a tool to evaluate the value add of investing in human resource development.
  • Overall impact will be a reduction of the employee turnover, rise in employee satisfaction levels and commitment to the organisation, as well as increased productivity levels among employees who have participated in the pilot


  • The success of any HR Turnaround Plan in any municipal organization requires the following processes, mechanisms and systems to be in place:
  • Regularly conduct the employee satisfaction survey and factor in funding into annual budgetary programmes.
  • Develop and review clear HRD strategy in line with the NDP and PGDS.
  • Develop and review medium to long term strategic plan for CS/HR through which the generic staff related strategic issues/challenges are reflected and executed over a given time.


4. Reconfigure and capacitate the HR unit as per the critical policy thrusts viz: succession planning, career management and employee retention.

5. Rebrand the municipality as the employer of unlimited capabilities/choice

6. Develop the standard operating procedure (SOP) on the collective managerial leadership, staff communication and management/staff participation for a.

7. Introduce the democratic employee recognition system with emphasis on the teams/units/sections than individuals.

8. Reinforce and capacitate the HRD subcommittees to drive critical staff empowerment programmes

9. Develop and implement the HR benchmarking process plan.