Xolani Mawande and Team
COVID – 19 hit the world. Lockdowns were implemented in almost all countries of the world. South Africa had its fair share of different levels of lockdown for about two hundred days. Business came to a standstill. Thousands of employees lost their jobs. Hundreds of companies closed down. The academic year for both schools and universities was almost lost. Millions were affected and others sadly passed away. Almost everyone wants 2020 to be forgotten.
Despite the above sad picture, we are all still standing, alive and well. We have a lot to be thankful for. One can see a glass half full when others choose to see a glass half empty.
While the lockdown forced people to stay and work from home, it also required and forced companies and individuals to fast track technological urgency and automation.
SABPP is part of the universe and had to manoeuvre around this pandemic and its attendant consequences.
SABPP had to deal with financial challenges as a result of low income or no income completely on a number of areas. A sizable number of staff were retrenched. Yet in 2020 the same “under strain” SABPP managed to achieve some outstanding achievements.
Here are some of the highlights for 2020:
- SABPP turned 38 years
- SABPP recovered from the devastating effects of Covid 19
- CPD Relaunched and implemented
- X-Factor show launched
- Disability standards launched
- Members segmentation project launched
- National Institute of Digital Learning (NIDL) semi launched
- Planned conferences held albeit virtually i.e. National Summit, L&D Conference, Spiral Dynamics and People Focus Summit.
- First Virtual Accreditation
- First Virtual Auditing
- First Virtual AGM
- First Digital Learning Awards
- Great achievements
- Best University NWU
- Best Audited Company – Sibanye Gold
- New Alliances signed
- National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD)
- The National School of Government (NSG)
I could go on and on but well let me allow our staff to tell you themselves how 2020 turned out. Their comments are unedited and come straight from their hearts.
Disrupted. That could be an apt leitmotif for this year as we find ourselves interrupted at an unexpected scale and timeline. We feel disturbed, dislocated, and disconnected. The novel coronavirus and the pandemic caused therefrom has rapidly ruptured our sense of certainty, continuity, and consistency in our personal, work, and professional lives. It has confronted countries, organisations, and teams with many significant challenges to their continuity and sustainability. It has undone and upended the familiar and taken-for-granted business, operating, and revenue models as well as practices, processes, flows, and schedules of organisations.
Foresight. That could be a critical lesson for this year – to consider the probable and what appears to us for now to be improbable. Yet, there had been many previous warning bells rung on the need to consider outliers and extreme or ‘black swan’ events such as a pandemic. The question, then, is why did we not attend to these? Is it possible, realistically, to attend to all probabilities and what appears to be improbabilities? And what provides the frame and anchor from which we can identify, anticipate, and manage probabilities and improbabilities? Are the past patterns not relevant anymore? What can inform the analysis of possible alternative futures, the visioning of what are the preferred futures, and strategies to realise these?
The pandemic and its effects have affirmed that we cannot rely on a single line of sight. In this regard the SABPP’s People Factor strategy is prescient as it identifies the importance of different sights: hindsight, insight, foresight, and oversight. The SABPP’s Research, Professional Products and Solutions, and Quality Assurance functions took heed of these different sights, as it grappled with and navigated the pandemic and its effects and that of the lockdown that was meant to arrest it. The various SABPP Departments first prioritised business continuity and then began reimagining their operating models as well as their practices, processes, flows, and schedules. This meant that the SABPP ensured continuity and the relevance of its research; of its provision of professional products, solutions, and training; and of its quality assurance of universities, skills development providers, and learning and assessments.
Early in the pandemic the SABPP Departments began engaging the HR professional community through research, products, and events. By means of regular webinars, factsheets, the People Factor magazine, and weekly newsletters, the SABPP created important spaces for HR practitioners to share their experiences and lessons learned on navigating and managing their organisations through the pandemic and to also engage each other in critical reflection. At the start of the pandemic the SABPP held, for example, webinars every two weeks that was open to its members and the broader HR community as part of its HR Citizenry role. The audience for these various webinars was several hundreds of HR practitioners, and SABPP’s social media followers grew month-on-month. The topics and themes of the various factsheets helped to contextualise the initial risk management and then wellness management by HR practitioners, as the pandemic and lockdown unfolded, within the broader SABPP HR Standards System Model and the themes of the PEOPLE Factor strategy. The pandemic reinforced the relevance and importance of the themes of the strategy. Digital HR is no more a conference theme, but a stark reality that organisations were confronted with as the large-scale experiment in remote and flexible work and workforce began.
Similarly, as with Digital HR, ‘digital’ became a prefix to the SABPP’s provision of professional products, solutions, training, and quality assurance. The SABPP broke ‘digital ground’ as it shifted to virtual accreditations of universities and skills development providers, and the virtual annual monitoring of skills development providers. In this way the SABPP ensured that these functions continued and that standards were maintained during these challenging times. The SABPP continues the important journey of HR professionalisation and good practices. The SABPP thanks its Higher Education Committee (HEC) and the Learning Quality Assurance (LQA) for their continued support and sound advice though this journey. The SABPP also thanks the Mangosuthu University of Technology for being the first institution of higher learning to be accredited virtually and the first to be accredited in the province of Kwazulu-Natal.
The shift to digital and remote working enabled the SABPP to expedite and leverage new partnerships and projects. These included building valued partnerships with the National School of Government (NSG) on their professionalisation of the public service project as well as Business Engage on gender mainstreaming, Afriforte on stress response measures and management, and One Circle on a remote work toolkit. These and our existing partnerships are key to the SABPP’s continued journey of HR professionalisation and good practice. One of our key ongoing partnership is on the Annual Women’s Report. We congratulate Professor Bosch on this year’s report, “The rise of the black woman: Celebrating black women’s excellence”, and the newly designed website.
SABPP’s shift to digital was also mindful of the issues of access and the digital divide. This is the reason the SABPP has continued to use its various modes of engagement and leveraged its ecosystem of national and provincial committees. In the case of quality assurance and learner assessments, the Final Integrated Summative Examinations for the FET Certificate in Human Resources Management and Practices Support, the National Diploma in Human Resources Management and Practices, and other qualifications such as the National Certificate in Generic Management (for Human Resources Support and for Skills Development Management) were successfully held as pen-and-paper assessments and complied to the QCTO’s determination on the use of e-assessments during the pandemic.
The shift to digital is not done within a vacuum. The contexts at different levels needs to be considered. Mindful of this as well as of the need to provide youth the opportunity and platform to give their voice, the SABPP held its Annual HR Youth Council virtually. This allowed for the different Student Chapters across the country to attend and share their visions of the future of work, education, and HR. The students shared their voices on future-fit scenarios as they see it. A new Youth Council was elected at the event and we look forward to strengthening and building on the past successes of the Student Chapters towards the realisation of the PEOPLE Factor strategy.
The pandemic has tested our business, operating, and revenue models as well as our practices, processes, products, and member engagement. It has caused us to pause and ask difficult questions of ourselves. Through the leadership of the SABPP ecosystem – from the SABPP Board to the various SABPP Committees, Student Chapters, accredited institutions, and importantly registered members – the SABPP will continue and thrive into the future. It is a future that we, together as a body of professionals, can help shape, design, and realise. There are many challenges and contingencies to contend with, but, together, we can overcome. We will continue to set and realise HR Standards.
Congratulations! To all who survived the year, 2020! This year has been full of surprises, which affected everyone of us, one way or the other.
South Africa’s COVID-19 mandated lockdown has resulted in the country’s economic decline and the loss of millions of jobs. This has affected a lot of companies including SABPP and resulted in an unfortunate process of retrenchments. I must admit that this was the hardest phase for both the retrenched and remaining SABPP staff.
In addition, the year 2020 harshly taught me to appreciate all special people in my life; since life is very short. I sadly lost people that were very close to my heart during the lockdown including our former Board member Brain who has left deep and sustainable footsteps! May they find eternal peace.
Forcefully we had to adapt by working from home. This was a very difficult phase for majority of us. But unfortunately, we did not have a choice since we needed to survive as an organisation. All our Committees met virtually, and this presented an opportunity for members across provinces to participate in such committee forums.
Despite all the challenges of 2020, we were able to achieve the below activities during the reporting year:
- New Charter
- SABPP successfully revamped its Charter with the collective help of the committees and the Board. The purpose of this revamp was to ensure that there are no gaps between SABPP and compliance with laws, rules, regulations and relevant codes since this is important to SABPP’s risk and opportunities management process.
- Additional Board member
- The Board saw a need to introduce an additional member from the SABPP-members’ nominees list. A special welcome to Dr Mochabo Moerane.
- National Annual General Meeting (AGM)
- SABPP made history by hosting the first virtual AGM that took place on the 18th June 2020. The event was attended by members from all nine provinces of South Africa including two international countries. The event was sealed with a Q & A session, which consistently affirmed our fully understood importance of member engagements.
- Provincial Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and Webinars
- The lockdown did not stop our provincial committees to host their AGMs. Positive feedbacks were received from all members that attended such events.
- Some provinces hosted relevant webinars just-in-time during 2020.
- Annual Report – 2019
- King IV recommends transparency on organisations and we are happy to report that SABPP successfully launched a 2019 annual report that provided an overview of what SABPP achieved in the reported year.
- Provincial Strategy Sessions
- One of the SABPP’s objective for 2020 was to host “People Factor” strategy session across all provinces. However, due to the lockdown some provinces did not receive an opportunity to participate in this session. The below provinces had fortunate engagement sessions on their strategy:
- Provincial Strategy Sessions conducted in
- KZN -10 January 2020
- Western Cape: 24 January 2020
- Witbank: 30 January 2020
- Eastern Cape Strategy session: 11 Feb 2020
- North West – Potchefstroom: 20 February 2020
- Gauteng: 26 February 2020
- Nelspruit: 4 March 2020
- Rustenburg: 5 March
- Alliance partnership were formed and renewed
- COMENSA (working Committee was launched in May 2020)
- The Ethics Institute (TEI)
- Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)
- Committees Relaunched
- On the 5th November 2020 SABPP relaunched the Rustenburg Committee.
- Annual Committee Meeting – ACM
- On the 3rd December 2020, SABPP we will be hosting the Annual Committees meeting that will be attended by all Chairpersons of National and Provincial.
- Committees will be sharing what they have achieved during the year 2020 and what is planned for 2021.
- This is another way that SABPP uses to ensure that all committees are aligned to the new strategy that has been recently launched.
A special word of thanks to all our members, the Board, and the national &provincial committee members for your support during a most difficult year. Your support provided so much hope that we will not only fight this challenging phase as individuals but strive as an organisation. If we’ve gotten through this HARD YEAR so far, we are going to survive whatever comes next as well. Looking forward to 2021!
The year “20 Plenty” began with plenty curveballs thrown at everyone and business around the world, leaving no country untouched. One of those undeniable curveballs is the infamous virus COVID-19. The COVID-19 tide came with tons of challenges; however, it can be said onshore, that opportunities were created, and milestones were achieved because of that disruption.
SABPP, like any other organisation, has explored unmatched ways of adapting to the change and coming up with innovative and interesting ways of reaching out. Part of the innovative and interesting ways in the HR Audit department was successfully conducting our very first remote HR Audit in March 2020, just a day after the President announced the nationwide lockdown. One of SABPP certified Lead HR Auditors, spearheaded the first remote audit smoothly withstanding the challenges that come with the unpredictability of technology. This great breakthrough, for lack of a better word, opened more avenues of leveraging software that was readily available inhouse to continue delivering training and executing SABPP’s operational commitment to the HR professionals.
To date, the HR Audit department has successfully audited 3 three cross-border audits, reaching Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. It has always been SABPP’s vision to expand its services to organisations outside of South Africa.
SABPP then continued to reach more milestone through remote audits. The Audit Unit conducted an audit in the mining sector, which is the first of the sector of its kind to be audited. SABPP proceed to secure a huge project in one of South Africa’s biggest State-Owned Enterprise, auditing 6 regions comprising of multiple national parks in the country, to mention but a few. The second Audit Council committee was formed, candidates with vast industry experience were identified and selected, the committee so far has displayed and strong leadership traits. The committee comprises of CHRP AND MHRP members with two specialists from the auditing and accounting fraternity. With 75% of females in the committee, the Audit department will most certainly grow strength to strength with sound governance from the committee.
In total SABPP has successfully conducted 16 HR audits, and it would not have been possible without the support and commitment of our seasoned HR professionals who endured a rigorous and stringent HR Auditor training to prepare them for audits and projects that enable them to make a meaningful contribution to the profession.
The SABPP hosted a wonderful virtual HR Standard Awards ceremony where organisations audited were acknowledged and commended for their excellent performance in the various HR Standards Elements. A huge congratulations to all finalists as well as the winners for the year 2019/2020. SABPP has always celebrated excellence in the profession but most importantly, the Audit department has committed itself to provide much need guidance and support towards continuous development to organisations that wish to strive towards achieving best practises.
It is amazing how much life events exude paramount support across the board. One thing is for certain, SABPP has shown astounding resilience during this pandemic. The effort the SABPP team has invested to ensure that they continue leaving a mark remains commendable. It certainly would not have been possible without the support of the HR professionals as well. 2021 will be a year of victory.
Stick around, Stay alive and keep breathing.
2020 brought us the massive curveball of Covid 19. No one was quite prepared for it, but being in lock down and confined to just one space, forced me to reflect.
Time to reflect on what I am truly grateful for, and I realised that I have quite a lot to be grateful for.
I am very grateful to the fact that I have not lost a loved one to Covid 19 and that so far everyone close to me, my friends, family and colleagues who have been infected, have fully recovered.
I am also grateful that after many months of uncertainty and stressful moments, I am one of the lucky ones to get up and go to work in the mornings. So many fellow employees and South Africans have lost this opportunity due to the pandemic
I have learnt that I am still able to adapt under extreme circumstances.
I celebrated my first year of marriage…during the Level 5 lockdown and also successfully raised a kitten and a puppy AT THE SAME TIME.
2020 has indeed been an adventure. We are approaching the last few weeks of hard work and then Festive Season is upon us yet again. This year I think all of us are looking forward to spend time with our family.
- Membership Renewal: 2020 has been a very challenging year, irrespective of the economic challenges and the COVID-19 Pandemic SABPP managed to retain more than 96% of the existing members and register 55 % of the targeted new member registration.
- Board Exams Level 1 and 2. As from January 2019 SABPP introduced Board Exams to strengthen the profession. Most of the members welcomed the new process. Members are writing and submitting, SABPP is always there to assist and advise where possible.
- 100% online evaluation: The department is now functioning on 100% online evaluations and Board Exams. The turnaround time also improved.
- Successful Online PRC committee meetings: Despite the Covid-19 challenges. Committee members managed to meet virtually 3 times in the year. 2 of the meetings were 100% attendance.
- Transformation – Successful transformation after restructuring – despite the workload the department continued running
2020 has been a very tough year due to the pandemic affecting the whole world. Through this difficult year of many losing jobs and loved ones, we have been able to sustain the organisation.
During these tough times, we have successfully converted and implemented online training. Our members can now attend and participate in National HR Standards, Strategic HR Business and Ethics training at their comfort zone from anywhere around the country.
We have awarded approximately three graduates for completing their HR Candidate Development Programme successfully.
SABPP registered students are now able to download their student membership certificates from our membership portal at any time. SABPP tries its best to create an all-around membership experience.
2020 came with a lot of things changing so many people’s lives negatively . I managed to buy a car and I consider this is my biggest success that I achieved. What affected us the most was the retrenchment of about 60% of our staff because of the pandemic COVID 19. This was very stressful and painful, however life must go on. As from now I am busy with my studies. SABPP is a very good organisation when it’s come to peoples development. We are the strong ethical team trying by all means to pick up ourself and make SABPP to be a successful and fruitful organisation .