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Employee Volunteer Programme

  1. Introduction

                                              Volunteers for Villages

                                        “It takes a village to raise a child”

• An African proverb captures the belief that it takes an entire village to raise a successful child. All the resources,
    human and material, as well as the combined skills of the village, collectively form the space in which a child is
                                               raised and prospers.

• This proverb is the inspiration for the Transnet EVP, and answers the question “But what does it take to raise a

 • It takes the volunteerism of a Transnet employee to raise a village, so that the village is able to
                                           raise its children, and prosper.
 2. Motivation

• The ideal model of an EVP utilises the inherent skills base (capacity, competencies, networks,
   knowledge base, etc) of a company to the benefit of a receiving organisation or entity.

• The employees of Transnet Limited, and its Operating Divisions, have a broad and diverse range of
   skills, from engineers to trades people. Thus, a successful EVP project in Transnet would ENABLE ALL
   employees, with these diverse range of skills, to volunteer.

• A community comprises of equally diverse sectors - education, health, culture and heritage,
   infrastructure, etc.

• The Employee Volunteer Programme, Transnet Volunteers for Villages matches the broad wealth of skills and
   knowledge in Transnet with the broad range of developmental needs of the receiving community.

             Transnet Employee Skills Base                      Community Development Needs

           Computer skills; finance management;                 Infrastructure development and maintenance;
          artesans; broad network; technical skills;   EVP      schools; clinics; NGO’s; employment;
           engineering; business administration;                entrepreneurial; sports; culture; environment
             project management; environment
  3. Rationale
                                            The Transnet EVP will

• Adopt an integrated approach to community development; is best suited to create volunteering
   opportunities for Transnet employees, whilst developing whole target communities called Transnet Villages

• Be sustainable

• Deliver a measurable impact / result over a defined period of time (three years) in a specified
   environment (Transnet Village)

• Be visible (have scale); be driven by economies of scale

• Have control measures in place.
4. Description

                The Transnet EVP project is called the “Transnet Volunteers for Villages”

• A ‘Village” is a community in a defined municipal ward / within a municipal boundary.

• Transnet Employees will volunteer their time, skill, ideas, networks to existing projects, organisations,
   community members within that Village to the benefit and socio – economic development of the Village.
      4.1. Identify the Transnet Village
The Volunteers for Villages, will be implemented in three locations where all Transnet Operating Divisions are active:


Port Elizabeth



The “Transnet Village” is a selected and controlled community in one of the above centres, where the Transnet EVP
will take place.

Employees, from all Operating Divisions in each of the above centres will nominate and vote for a proposed Village to
be the Transnet Village. (This will ensure the buy - in of employees, and legitimate the selection process.)

The Transnet EVP will be implemented over a three year period in each Village.

Volunteering will take place at any time of the day, any day of the week, excluding Mondays and Tuesdays (under
controlled conditions).
     4.2 Baseline study of the Transnet Village
The Transnet EVP should have measurable outcomes for Transnet, the benefitting community (Village) and the participating

Conduct a detailed and comprehensive environmental study of the Transnet Village. This will include focusing on the

                                         age profile
                                         demographic profile
                                         level of poverty
                                         employment and employability profile
                                         community peculiarities
                                         profile of community institutions
                                         community leaders and structures
                                         etc of the Village.

Such a study will form the baseline against which projects for the Village will be planned, implemented and measured on an
ongoing basis. It will also form the final measurement (after the three year project life cycle), against which the impact of
the project will be measured.
 4.3 Project Manager for the Transnet Village

The Transnet EVP will be a host of projects, both long and short term, that will lead to the upliftment of the Transnet Village.
The Project Manager will drive the Transnet EVP, and ensure that it adds value to Transnet and the Village. The role of the
Transnet EVP project manager is to:

      •    together with the community, identify volunteering opportunities (campaigns or assistance) existing in the Village

      •    serve as the entry and exit point of Transnet employees into the Village (as risk management and for the security of

      •    liaise between Transnet and community leaders, structures and organisations

      •    form partnerships and strategic networks to the benefit of the programme

      •    Implement the control measures (attendance and volunteer service delivery) for the programme

      •    Ensure that the image and reputation of Transnet is protected at all times

      •    Ensure high visibility profile and scale of the programme in and beyond the Village

      •    Be the thread that keeps the volunteer activities integrated.
    4.4 Implement the Volunteers for Villages
•   Volunteering will entail the skills, knowledge base, network, time and labour of all Transnet employees. Skills will not
    be outsourced or hired in. Networks can be used to the advantage of the Village e.g. request a friend or contact who is
    not a Transnet employee to volunteer his / her specialised skill. Cynthia asks her photographer friend to run a one day
    photography class in the Village at no cost to Transnet or Cynthia.

•   Volunteering will take place at EXISTING institutions, organisations and projects. New projects or initiatives may be
    formed as a result of the Volunteers for Villages project, but must be managed and operated by the community itself,
    and independent of Transnet.

•   Any existing activity in the target Village, willing to accept Transnet volunteers, will qualify.

•   The Volunteers for Villages will consist of three types of projects or activities, namely

    A. Volunteers for Villages programme – this is an ongoing, sustained programme of the same activity over a sustained
      period of time (offer weekly knitting classes as entrepreneurial skills; community help desk for information, referrals
      and guidance staffed by Transnet employees) OR

    B. A blitz operation , being a once off event (such as a clean up campaign)      OR

    C. A corporate partnership EVP project (enter into a partnership with any other company, to the benefit of the Village)

•   Inform all (national)Transnet employees about the volunteering OPPORTUNITIES available at the Village. Employees
    who have business engagements in the city where the Village is located could also volunteer for the duration of their
4.4.1       Examples of volunteer activities

  The Transnet EVP could be a
  sustained programme, a
  corporate or a blitz campaign.                                                      Second hand
  Various programmes will run                                                          trade store
  simultaneously, creating
  volunteering opportunities for a
  large number of employees.          These activities will allow any Transnet
                                      employee, from a professional to a blue
                                      collar worker, to volunteer. The visible
                                      presence and scale of the number of
                                      employees will create the Village effect
 A sustained volunteer                where Transnet employees become
 programme takes place over a         members of the community, bringing about
 period of time relevant to the       sustainable change and growth in that
 training and has measurable          community.
 deliverables and impact.

                                      Because this is all happening in a controlled
                                      environment, the impact, returns and
 A blitz campaign takes               visibility can be measured.
 place over a day, and
 although it has an
 impact, is mostly
 publicity driven.
4.4.1         Examples of volunteer activities CONT

•   Village Blitz – upliftment of public places in the Village (painting, plumbing, electrical, etc) as the Launch of
the EVP Programme

•   SMME Development -
       • Partnership with UCT Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship towards a model for SMME
          development and growth measurement
       • Establish a Village Chamber of Commerce

•   Waste Management – a green (environmental) EVP initiative that is a supply chain from raw material
                       (waste) to manufactured product (revenue))

•   Eskom solar power – solar geyser / panels to households in the Village; in partnership with Eskom

•   Pre – owned trade store - second hand store for Village

•   Individual / team volunteering - identify volunteer opportunities for individuals and teams
4.5 Monitoring and control; marketing strategies
and rewards

Measures for monitoring and control will be

      •     generic controls for the Transnet EVP (EG register; EVP Policy, etc)

      •     controls relevant to the deliverables of the specific programme where volunteering is taking place
           (EG coaching at school)

The EVP will be marketed to Transnet employees as an OPPORTUNITY, and not a task. Such marketing will be
done nationally, and not just in the four centres where the EVP Village is located.

A monthly EVP news update will be distributed to all employees to ensure a constant awareness about the
volunteering opportunities, and stimulate a desire to volunteer.

Rewards will be in the form of employee recognition (for individuals and units) and included as a SPO. No
financial or other rewards will be offered. The buy in and support of managers, line managers and supervisors will
be essential for the success of the programme .
    5. Challenges / Risks What could go wrong …
•    Instilling an appetite for volunteerism amongst ALL employees from all Operating Divisions across all levels of
     employment (Getting employees to volunteer);

•    Management (line managers) not permitting employees to volunteer / no buy - in from management;

•    Core business vs. volunteerism;

•    Abuse of volunteer time by employees;

•    Employees misrepresenting Transnet or bring the image and reputation of Transnet into disrepute;

•    Unstable / volatile communities where volunteering will take place;

•    Managing community expectations of what the Transnet EVP can and cannot deliver (in relation to the model
     as well as the concept of volunteerism);

•    Community expectations of financial and infra-structure investment vs. volunteering;

•    High levels of crime in the target communities (Transnet Villages) as well as perceptions amongst Transnet
     employees of a lack of security in such communities;

•    The Village EVP concept is broad and complex; challenge to simplify it and make it accessible to ALL Transnet
     employees and the community (Transnet Village).
6. Conclusion

                           It takes a village to raise a child


           It takes a Transnet employee’s volunteerism to raise the village.

                                       THE END.

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