Our people are a vital component in our operations. They in turn rely on us to ensure their financial and non-financial needs are met through remuneration (see page 32 of our Governance and Remuneration Report for details) and other benefits. Realising the interdependence between our business and our employees, Airports Company South Africa strives to create a mutually beneficial environment where our employees can realise their full potential, while being a part of our value creation process resulting in individual, company and societal prosperity.

We employed 3 343 people (FY2018/19:3 380) consisting of 3 230 permanent employees (FY2018/19:3 100), 55 temporary workers (FY2018/19: 57) and 58 young talent employees (FY2018/19: 223) in FY2019/20.

Our business is built on a foundation of effective transformation management (see page 52 ), improving the lives of our employees, ensuring stable trade union relations and effectively managing remuneration and performance. We monitor our enabling culture annually, through our employee satisfaction (ESAT) survey. Gradual improvements in employee perceptions year on year indicate an increasing pervasiveness of the new culture. In FY 2019/20, our ESAT score was 3.58 (FY2018/19: 3.55), compared to our target of 3.31.

Our organisational culture is influential in attracting and retaining key talent. In FY2019/20, we recorded an employee turnover rate of 2.1% (FY2018/19: 6%). Our high employee satisfaction and low turnover rates demonstrate that we are an employer of choice. This was reaffirmed as we once again received the Top Employer award for the 10th consecutive year, from the Top Employers Institute. See page 12 for more information.

To enhance long-term value creation, we identified critical positions in the business and implemented succession plans. We are developing a pipeline of talent to feed into these critical positions through a range of talent management structures and initiatives. In the year under review, we promoted 172 employees internally (FY2018/19: 266) and spent R42 million on skills development, with 5 729 interventions delivered (FY2018/19: R48 million).

Our focus in FY2019/20 was to improve our employee value proposition through employee relations management and engagement projects. To date, we have engaged with relevant employee segments to outline the attributes that are important to them. Processes are underway to conclude this project which will culminate in the design of an employee value proposition for the group.

Remuneration and performance management

Our remuneration mix consists of guaranteed pay, benefits and variable pay, which includes short-term incentives (STI) as well as long-term incentives (LTI). This approach to remuneration and performance management allows us to offer competitive total rewards and promote a highperformance culture.

Salary increases for employees in the outside bargaining unit are determined in line with their individual performance rating. Accordingly, poor performers receive a lower increase percentage, while exceptional performers receive a higher increase percentage, which is generally above the merit salary increase percentage approved by the Board of Directors. In contrast, inside bargaining unit employees receive a flat rate increase, as approved by the Board of Directors or as agreed with their union.

Eligible employees qualify for an STI, which is determined by the performance of the individual employee, their division and the Company. The STI amount could increase, decrease or remain the same based on performance, thus rewarding high performance. At executive level, performance is also managed through our LTI scheme, which rewards executives for their performance in line with set stretched targets measured over a three-year period. Refer to page 30 of our Governance and Remuneration Report for a full account of remuneration in FY2019/20.

Improving the lives of our people

Our employees benefit from housing, transport schemes and learning support for employees and their children. We leverage our collective efforts and bargaining power to provide solutions to some of the challenges our employees face, beyond the workplace.

Housing scheme

In June 2016, Airports Company South Africa implemented a housing assistance scheme and financial wellness programme aimed at ensuring all our employees have access to dignified housing. Through the housing assistance scheme, we offer rental subsidies for employees saving to buy a house, a deposit subsidy to first-time homeowners and a housing subsidy to qualified salaried employees who are repaying a bond. We also assist employees in decreasing indebtedness through an interest-free debt-consolidation offering, which better positions them to buy property in future. Our impact in the year under review can be measured by the following:

  • Granted 434 (FY2018/19: 228) employees a rental subsidy benefit, which significantly improved their living conditions
  • Granted 1 459 employees monthly housing subsidies to assist with bond repayments.
  • Assisted 105 (FY2018/19: 226) employees with debt consolidation and management
  • Enabled 65 (FY2018/19: 280) employees to buy their first homes through our housing subsidy

Transport scheme

We continue to operate an employee transport scheme which offers safe, reliable and affordable transport to employees residing in surrounding airport precincts, especially during off-peak periods. As noted in previous integrated annual reports, a procurement process completed in 2017 appointed 22 transport service providers. These businesses are integrated into our enterprise supplier development programme, which empowers them to sustain and grow their transport businesses beyond the life cycle of their contract. In FY2019/20, 854 employees made use of the transport scheme, which equates to a utilisation rate of 81% (FY2019/20: 57%) at all sites where the scheme has been rolled out.

Supporting learning for employees and their children

We provide educational assistance to permanent employees as well as their children and dependants in the form of bursaries. Through our bursary scheme, introduced in 2011, we sponsor tertiary studies for a formal qualification offered by accredited South African tertiary or higher education training institutions. The scheme enables employees and their families to take initiative in developing their career prospects. Bursaries cover tuition, accommodation, books, stationary and a stipend for bursars. The scheme further covers tutorials for mathematics, science and accounting for high school children.

Developing expertise in advisory services

We are pursuing value creation opportunities by leveraging our extensive human capital, institutional knowledge and experience to provide technical consulting support to emerging operators. During the year under review, these included providing operational readiness support at Roberts International Airport in Monrovia to the Liberia Airports Authority and at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka, Zambia for Zambia Airports Company Limited. We provided advisory and technical services to Bugesera Airports Company for Bugesera International Airport in Kigali, Rwanda. In South Africa, we provided advisory and technical services to the Msunduzi Municipality for Pietermaritzburg Airport, Gateway Airports Authority Limited for Polokwane Airport, Eastern Cape Department of Transport for Mthatha Airport, City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality for Wonderboom Airport and City of uMhlathuze Municipality for Richards Bay Airport. We undertook a technical assessment of King Moshoeshoe International Airport in Maseru for the Lesotho Department of Transport.

In the year under review, 75 bursaries were awarded to employees’ children to the value of R2.5 million. We also supported 369 active employee bursaries to the value of R7 million.

Trade union relations

Management actively engages with the trade unions throughout the year. We are currently in the process of completing a recognition and procedural agreement with the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU), which represents 33% of employees, and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), which represents 22% of employees, as they have elected to act jointly. This is testament to the effective relationship that all parties have in this process of engagement. At present, both NEHAWU and NUMSA have section 12 and 13 organisational rights.

In March 2019, the National Transport Movement was notified of our intention to terminate its organisational rights. This came into effect in May 2019 as the membership had decreased to 8%.


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and our refreshed operating model priorities will lead to the review of capacities and resources while continuing to sustain employee engagement and productivity.

In FY2020/21, our planned focus was on improving the employee experience by rolling out an employee value proposition project which has, through the ESAT survey and employee focus groups, identified pain-points that will be addressed over the next 24 months.

We will also focus on talent management embarking on a process to develop career paths aimed at enabling employees to manage their own careers with the support of their line managers. This process will give employees clarity regarding the competencies and experience they need to obtain on the path towards their aspired positions.



To become a world-leading digital airport company, we must have a customer-centric focus to meet the needs of digitally demanding passengers and stakeholders. The airport experience has evolved considerably in the past decade with the introduction of biometric security, mobile check in, and baggage tracking. As our infrastructure develops, we continue our efforts in leveraging our technological assets to deliver improvements in speed to market, quality of service, turnaround times, accuracy, cost efficiencies and risk management.

The key objective of our digital strategy is to adopt and leverage appropriate technology to enhance operational efficiency and customer experience, while protecting our information and systems. Our strategy emphasises the enablement of non-aeronautical revenue growth. Our aim is to deliver the technology needs and growth aspirations of the Company through cost optimisation, increased operational efficiency, paperless travel, support for sound corporate governance and compliance, as well as key stakeholder engagement.

We are aggressively driving our digital programmes across the business by developing our people, with a focus on transformation at all levels, and leveraging our combined capacity and capability across our business partners. Our focus is integrating and streamlining technology operations and optimising our ability to efficiently scale technology. To achieve our aspirations, it is vital we build trusted partnerships with all stakeholder and optimise key relationships and sourcing arrangements. Our key strategic initiatives are focused on:

  • Passenger experience
  • Social and mobile
  • Intelligent business and digital infrastructure

Last year, we embarked on a five-year IT upgrade programme with Board approval of R1.2 billion in capital expenditure. In FY2019/20, R202 million was implemented and has contributed to the good progress made in upgrading our IT systems. In the year ahead, in light of the impact of COVID-19, major capital expenditure may be reviewed and adjusted in line with new developments and requirements.

This year, the Group maintained its Level 2 rating in terms of IT security maturity, with basic process and technology infrastructure in place in risk management, vulnerability management, security information and event management as well as privileged access management. Security roadmaps for the next two years will focus on increasing the level of automation of infrastructure and processes ensuring more cost-sustainable and scalable solutions. We will introduce complex functions such as a security operation centre with automated vulnerability management and security monitoring systems that will be managed across hybrid public/private cloud environments and data loss prevention systems with advanced support for virtual, mobile and cloud endpoints.

Passenger experience

In December 2019, we operationalised smart lanes at O.R. Tambo International Airport, achieving a throughput of 248 passengers per hour while increasing the level of security threat detection. Our risk-based screening process and technology has screened more than 86 000 passengers travelling through 30 international airlines. The solution detects both metallic and non-metallic threats and uses e-Gate technology for passenger boarding pass processing.

Social media and mobile technology

We have successfully implemented a radio network at eight of our airports, with only George Airport outstanding. The radio frequency spectrum licence was issued by Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to cover a 10-kilometre radius around our airports and facilitates communication between our staff and with other stakeholders within this area.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on technology programmes, our passenger self-service solutions are being re-evaluated in order to comply with the laws and regulation. The introduction of business contactless processes and passenger self-service solutions also aims to conform to social distancing standards.

Intelligent business and digital infrastructure

Cyber security

Information and cyber security continue to be a priority in line with King IV, which requires that information assets are managed effectively and our business environment is safe, secure and resilient, despite the increase in cyber-attacks experienced globally. In the year under review, we did not record any significant cyber security incidents. We are making good progress in the execution of our information and cyber security strategy and roadmap, through projects and operational initiatives. Information and cyber security awareness sessions are currently underway across all our airports with a completion rate of 70%. To strengthen our cyber security controls and be proactive in our response to and remediation of cyber security events and logs, we have prioritised our Cyber Security Operations Centre for implementation and operationalisation by 1 August 2020.

Business intelligence

This year, we have implemented several business intelligence projects to track performance in various business units as part of our business intelligence strategy.

  • Oracle Fusion Performance Analytics Dashboard tracks the whole performance management process from start to end, flags employees without performance management contracts and reports on compliance across divisions
  • Oracle Enterprise Asset Management Maintenance Dashboard tracks frequently failing assets, total spend on asset maintenance across all EAM cost centres as well as actual spend compared to budgeted spend across all EAM cost centres
  • Business Development Analytics Dashboard measures the growth impact of new and current airline routes across various aeronautical growth metrics
  • Group Transformation Dashboard tracks our performance against current transport sector targets as well as quarter-on-quarter performance for B-BBEE procurement spend across qualifying small enterprises and exempt micro enterprises, black-owned, black-woman-owned, and disability metrics

Staff enablement

The digitisation of the IT service desk is in the testing phase and is expected to go live in May 2020. One of the highlights of this project is the enhancement of the ServiceNow IT Service Management tool that will digitise certain IT processes. Through a service portal, employees will be able to request IT equipment and other IT services. They will be able to stay informed with regard to the status of their logged tickets and engage with the service desk via the tool rather than emails or by telephone. Self-help guides and a knowledge base will also be created and will be available on the portal that will empower users.

Asset verification

A mobile application will be launched to assist our asset management team with audits and asset verification. Users will be able to load the application onto their phones to log incidents or query their status of incidents. The app aims to assist in the daily operations of the field service agents to speed up resolution of tickets assigned to them, thereby meeting business service level agreements. Finally, we will launch a configuration and asset management database which allows our IT and the asset management team to track IT assets more effectively.


We were on the brink of implementing a comprehensive digital strategy to ensure we adopt and leverage appropriate digital technology to enhance operational efficiency and customer experience, while protecting our information and systems. Our short- to medium-term strategic objectives are to:

  • Create an innovative business-focused IT capability
  • Optimise our enterprise architecture to innovate and enable a world-leading digital airport platform
  • Realise efficiencies and cost savings through strategic sourcing
  • Enable sustainable change through proactive management

To some extent these projects will have to be deferred or put on hold as a result of COVID-19 budget cuts. This will delay the full execution of the IT Digital Strategy. We will focus on those projects that support re-alignment to COVID-19 impact and those that generate revenues. However, driving business digital transformation of our business remains an imperative in the long term. While taking into account cash flow constraints, where possible, solutions will be deployed and functionality expanded over time to attend to COVID-19 issues such as touchless selfservice offering as well as managing customer intelligence.