Tracking proposed amendments to the Employment Equity Act and ensuring that current practices are aligned

Implemented amendments to the Employment Equity Act and the Regulations of the EEA4 Income Differential Report

Integrating the new employment equity plans with our processes and practices

Completed employment equity plan integration

Embedding a multi-level succession roadmap

Succession management plans and processes were reviewed for senior management across the organisation.

Introducing a dynamic and innovative approach to talent management and skills development

Conducted bi-annual talent engagement discussions with unit general managers and operational managers as part of our talent management review

Enhancing the employee experience to improve customer service

Relaunched a refreshed CLEAR principles (connect, listen, engage, act and reconnect) approach to all employees through the leadership engagement roadshows. Incorporating CLEAR principles in customer services training to embed the principles

Continuing to provide a balanced working environment for employees, conducive to a healthy lifestyle

Partnership with LifeAssist continues to show growth in utilisation

Continuing to manage human resources risks and leverage opportunities for optimising people-driven business performance

Promptly implemented the onboarding of all temporary employee service staff ensure compliance with the recent labour law changes regarding temporary staff. Launched a group reward and recognition programme based on Sun International’s values, CLEAR principles, SunWay and unit-specific requirements


Total group employees   Number   14 706   14 632  
– South Africa including SunSlots   Number   9 340   9 001  
– Other Africa   Number   550   543  
– Latam   Number   4 816   5 088  
Employee turnover   %   20.1   23.3  
Female representation   %   51.9   51.17  
Black representation1   %   93.2   92.2  
1 South African operations.


Our employees are key value drivers to achieving the group’s strategy and providing memorable guest experiences. While it is essential that we continue to operate efficiently in this difficult economic environment it is essential to be cognisant of any uncertainty this may create among employees. Following various surveys and major operational changes over the past few years, the group’s central office was restructured during 2019. This restructure was necessary to improve collaboration across the business, avoid silo thinking and duplication of efforts; all to achieve positive financial outcomes. During this process about 80 employees were impacted.

Workforce profile
At 31 December 2019, we had 14 706 (2018: 14 632) employees across our operations. Despite 996 temporary employee service staff employees appointed at Sun City, Table Bay and Time Square, the overall headcount only grew by 74, due to headcount reduction at other units
Our permanent employees in South Africa comprise:
  • permanent full-time employees
  • permanent part-time employees, who are paid the same hourly rate as full-time employees; and work according to a roster that guarantees minimum monthly work hours.
Link icon
For more details on our workforce by employee statistics
and region and gender for 2019 refer to Annexure A below.
Employment equity at our South African operations

Our approach is to achieve legislative and substantive transformation by aligning numerical and non-numerical targets to the group’s strategic objectives. These targets are tracked and monitored quarterly and included in line managers’ performance contracts. The social and ethics committee is responsible for monitoring our progress against set targets.

During 2019 we achieved good progress against our unitspecific, three-year employment equity plan that supports the group’s strategic objectives. Each property is positioned to set its own goals and objectives for employment equity, while meeting the provincial gaming boards licensing criteria.

The Department of Labour introduced amendments to the Regulations governing the income differential report (EEA4) in 2019. These amendments assess the remuneration gap between the highest and lowest income earner (vertical gap), as well as revise the reporting on remuneration to include not only the fixed remuneration, but also the variable remuneration. Variable remuneration comprises shortand long-term incentives which consist of share-based rewards (with a vesting period of more than one year), cash settlements, discretionary lump sum payments, bursaries, scholarships and dividends. A further requirement included an assessment of the income gap between the 10% of the highest earners, and the corresponding 10% of lowest earners. As this process is relatively new, there has not been feedback from the Department of Labour as to the whether the methodology followed for calculating the income differentials is consistent across all companies. There may be some anomalies.

We marginally increased our South African (including SunSlots) black employee representation to 93% (2018: 92%), exceeding the distribution of the national economically active population. The management team is made up of 84% (2018: 82%) black people, and 45% (2018: 46%) are females. Challenges remain at middle and senior management levels, where representation of black people, particularly black females is lower than white people.

To mitigate our previous challenges in retaining persons with disabilities, we introduced disability capacity building workshops and disability awareness days. This resulted in the retention of persons with disabilities and provides us with an opportunity to increase representation.

Workforce profile by gender
Male: 44%
(2018: 45%)
Female: 56%
(2018: 55%)
Workforce profile by race
workforce-profile African: 80% (2018: 78%) Colou r ed: 9% (2018: 10%) Indian: 4% (2018: 4%) White: 5% (2018: 6%) Fo r eign n a tional: 2% (2018: 2%)
Diversity profile South Africa1

Employee class Occupational levels A C I W Total A C I W Total MEN WOMEN
Permanent Top management 2 1 1 2 6 1 1     2     8
  Senior management 18 4 26 38 86 11 6 6 17 43 6   135
  Middle management 88 33 32 86 239 97 25 15 42 179 12 8 438
  Skilled technical/
688 158 88 102 1 036 664 155 68 83 970 25 6 2 037
2 193 202 53 33 2 481 3 519 272 53 40 3 884 73 39 6 477
Permanent total 2 989 398 200 261 3 848 4 292 459 145 182 5 078 116 53 9 095
Temporary   165 27 3 20 215 224 21 5 10 260 1   476
TOTAL   3 154 425 203 281 4 063 4 516 480 150 192 5 338 117 53 9 571

1 Including SunSlots’ headcount of 245.
Employee turnover

During the year under review there were 2 951 (2018: 3 257) employment terminations employment group-wide, and group turnover was 20.1% of the total headcount (2018: 23.3%).

The tables below provide the reasons for employment termination by region and by age.

Reason for termination by region
Reason South Africa South Africa SunSlots Swaziland Nigeria Argentina Chile Colombia Panama Peru Group
Death 41 2 3 1 47
Dismissal – Incapacity/ health 10 10
Dismissal – Incapacity/
poor work performance
1 55 56
Dismissal – Misconduct 388 3 2 6 9 490 2 49 70 1 019
Dismissal – Voluntary 22 5 483 510
Dismissal – Voluntary early 6 1 1 8
Dismissal – Operations
51 2 113 166
Mutual agreement
5 11 69 17 97 102
Resignation 547 25 6 11 34 307 8 10 359 948
Retirement 79 1 5 85
TOTAL 1 150 29 15 20 57 867 15 76 1 737 2 951

Reason for termination by age band

Reason 18 – 20 21 – 30 31 – 40 41 – 50 51 – 70 Total
Death 0 5 14 17 11 47
Dismissal – Incapacity/health 0 1 1 3 5 10
Dismissal – Incapacity/poor work performance 1 31 16 6 2 56
Dismissal – Misconduct 34 410 376 139 60 1 019
Dismissal – Operations requirement, voluntary 37 317 120 27 9 510
Dismissal – Operations requirement, voluntary early retirement 1 3 2 0 2 8
Dismissal – Operations requirement 18 60 30 23 35 166
Mutual agreement separation 0 18 48 19 17 102
Resignation 43 389 367 130 19 948
Retirement 0 0 0 0 85 85
TOTAL 134 1 234 974 364 245 2 951

Improving our organisational culture


Sun International implemented a progress assessment against the SunWay culture across our South African operations. Employees provided feedback on how they identified with the formula and gave ideas on how to improve process and efficiencies. The SunWay culture has being integrated and embedded in learning interventions to reinforce the message. In 2020, we will commence with a group-wide SunWay measurement to gather feedback from our employees, service provides and concessionaires.


The Employee Value Proposition (EVP), ‘The Home of The Game Changers’ is continually reinforced within the group through our employee processes. Sun International’s EVP incorporates various components such as development opportunities as well as a challenging and an enabling work environment. We positioned our EVP externally to showcase Sun International’s brand and attract talent.

Sun International won an award from the Community of Human Resources Officers under the category ‘Celebrating Excellence in Human Resources’. This award recognised how Sun International’s EVP programme shaped the organisations culture and rewarded employees through various incentives and benefits.


Our Sharing the Sun campaign is a senior leadership initiative that grants wishes, at the end of each year, to some employees who give a lot of themselves to our business every day. The senior leadership team personally gave something back and realised some of our employees’ wishes. Sun International matched the personal funds pledged by leadership to deliver a truly impactful campaign that created lasting memories from within.

Wishes were granted for: medical assistance, shelter, food, education and security. The initiative commenced in December 2016 and wishes are granted in January of the following year:

wishes granted
Employee and union relations

We engage with our employees in an open, honest and transparent manner through our SunTalk platform. This mobile communication platform continues to gain traction, with 7 088 employees having registered to date. To enhance the SunTalk platform it was included on the Apple App and Play store in February 2020, with improved digital functionality. The App is also used to create awareness around the group’s various campaigns and initiatives.


67% (2018: 64%) of our South African workforce (excluding SunSlots) is covered by collective agreements. It is imperative to maintain healthy relationships through meaningful engagements with the various unions. During 2019, we shifted our employee relations landscape from a reactive approach (industrial relations) to a proactive approach (employee relations). Sun International’s employee relations goals include:

  • Strengthening the employer employee relationship to create a more productive and successful organisation
  • Improving the employee employer relationships and engagement of all employees
  • Improving relationships with all stakeholders in the employee relations value chain
  • Creating an environment that is conducive to conflict resolution and minimising disputes within operations

The group recognises that it has a responsibility to ensure the effective management of human rights. The principle of freedom of association as it relates to the constitution of each country where we operate is formally endorsed in our employee relations policy statements, and in our recognition agreements with the trade unions in South Africa and other countries where we operate.


Talent management is a critical enabler to the business strategy. During 2019, talent reviews were held with exco to discuss senior management roles in the business units.

Talent management initiatives
  • An integrated approach to succession management was followed whereby a select number of employees attended development programmes to assist in transitioning to new roles.
  • Launched a ‘Partners for Possibility’ programme to develop highperforming employees as part of our talent management initiatives.
  • Piloted performance management training for employees across the business.
  • Developed and implemented a performance management programme for all line managers to enhance effective performance management by setting objectives and incorporating coaching.
  • Focused on streamlining recruitment practices to ensure that the group attracts and retains the best talent in the market.
  • Piloted a mentorship programme at central office that focused on women development. It included women from different job levels being mentored by women in senior leadership roles. This programme will be rolled out in 2020 focusing on the mentorship of high potential talent group-wide.
  • Around 97% reprofiled jobs were completed and aligned to the business strategy with defined roles and responsibilities.
  • Various structural changes have been supported and implemented across various properties in 2019 to ensure enhanced efficiencies and synergies.
Learning and development

To ensure that our employees are equipped to carry out their responsibilities, Sun International has several learning and development initiatives aimed at empowering and developing our talent group-wide. Several of these initiatives were developed, implemented or piloted during the financial year.


The food and beverage executive team launched a training manual that is available in three languages (English, Zulu and Xhosa) on the Sun International Intranet. They partnered with the International Hotel Training School to produce training videos, featuring Sun International employees, to create an accredited Sun Academy programme.

Managing the SunWay
We continued to embed the Managing the SunWay initiative that offers foundational management skills and knowledge customised to the SunWay of leading and managing.
Coaching for performance
Rolled out a coaching for performance programme with the University of Stellenbosch Business School for senior to middle managers, that includes practical application to create maximum impact.
Customer experience

We continued to embed Sun International’s standard operating procedures across all units. This was reinforced by implementing a reward and recognition programme that rewards employees who focus on and invest in improving our service delivery and on our brand promise of ‘creating lasting memories’.

In 2019, the interactive customer service training was launched. It incorporates a best practice approach to delivering memorable experiences to all our guests while upholding the Sun Values. Learners are exposed to the importance of customer interaction at all touchpoints by literally ‘walking in their shoes’ and role-playing a variety of typical customer experiences. The CLEAR theme is included throughout this training to reinforce excellent customer service.

The CLEAR serving is what we do to entrench:
  • our service principles
  • our CLEAR interaction process
  • our people paying attention to detail and focusing on our customers.
Skills development spend

We launched the Sun Academy training journey that incorporates face-to-face training as well as virtual training (blended learning) for specific functions within the group. In 2019, the food and beverage, gaming and managers learning offering was made available. Going forward, this offering will be expanded to include other core functions within the organisation such as front of house, financial gaming and shared services.

Group training spend was R116 million (2018: R133 million), a decrease of 13%. The total number of employees trained was down 5%. Our skills development spend across our South African operations, excluding SunSlots, decreased by 13% to R100 million (2018: R117 million). This investment included formal and informal learning interventions, with 4 100 South African employees (2018: 4 714) benefiting. Interventions are targeted at employees’ roles and growing the leadership pipeline. The number of employees trained per region includes employee terminations during this period.


Region   Country   Total expenditure
December 2019
R million
  Total learners
December 2019
SOUTH AFRICA   South Africa   100.3   4 100  
  SUNSLOTS South Africa   2.1   245  
SUN DREAMS LATAM   Argentina   0   840  
  Chile   12.7   2 737  
    Colombia   0   0  
    Panama   0   193  
    Peru   0.4   764  
AFRICA   Nigeria   0.1   40  
    Swaziland   0.4   172  
TOTAL     116.00   9 091  
Leviable payroll
R1 861 million
(December 2018: R1 753 million)
Training costs
R100 million
(December 2018: R117 million)
% of leviable payroll
(December 2018: 6.7%)

Grants and levies

To access skills development grants from the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority under the levy grant scheme, we are required to:

  • pay a skills development levy to SARS
  • submit an MGP detailing all learning interventions to be undertaken for the year
  • submit a mandatory grant report confirming the implementation of the MGP for the previous year.

Mandatory grants recovery, which is 20% of levies paid to SARS, decreased to 83% due to changes in company registration numbers at three business units as well as outstanding tax payments to SARS in respect of Wild Coast Sun.

Skills development levy paid
R18.6 million
(December 2018: R17.5 million)
Mandatory grants received
R3.1 million
(December 2018: R3.5 million)
Remuneration and benefits

We participate in and consider market remuneration surveys and align our pay decisions to the principles set out in our remuneration policy. We made progress in aligning our ‘equal pay for equal work of value’ legislative requirements following an extensive benchmarking exercise. We have again addressed anomalies in the March 2019 increase process. We continue to conduct an annual ‘equal pay for equal work of value’ process to ensure that we remove any disproportionate income differentials over time.


Following a detailed process, which was approved by the remuneration committee, management moved from the in-house restricted membership provident fund to a large commercial umbrella provident fund, while retaining its bespoke investment strategy and insured benefits Contributions to the umbrella fund commenced in July 2019 and we anticipate Financial Sector Conduct Authority approval to transfer the assets across in due course.

Performance management

We accurately measure and provide feedback on performance by linking employee performance to business objectives through a KPI scorecard. The scorecard includes KPIs for managing and developing people and transformation, as these are important areas of our business.

Individual employment contracts include minimum requirements and standards for each role. Reward is directly linked to performance at group, team and individual levels. Performance feedback sessions provide opinions on achieving or exceeding the standards set and are used to address performance that fails to meet requirements. These sessions include a review of development needs and the setting of plans for future development, talent and career management discussions.

Employee wellness

In 2019, the case utilisation increased and reached 11.5% of headcount, which is above the employee wellness programme norm. This confirms that there is a continued need in our business operations for support in psycho-social matters and through proactive interventions, the propensity for referrals to the programme is likely to increase.

Current utilisation levels confirms that the business operations are responding to the needs identified within the workplace and therefore positioning activities that are relevant to the employees. The five top reasons that impacted on our employee wellness are:

  • Personal stress
  • Bereavement
  • Couple/marital counselling
  • Legal

Focus areas for 2020 include obesity, hypertension, mental health, HIV management and financial wellbeing.

Workplace absenteeism management (WAM)

The WAM programme is available to all South African units. Contact was made with 3 048 employees who were flagged for being absent. Most employees contacted by WAM had musculoskeletal, respiratory, digestive or HIV issues. Employees who identified with domestic and personal issues that resulted in absenteeism were referred to the employee wellbeing programme for further counselling and advice. The WAM service assists with sick note verification to ensure that sick leave is managed appropriately. The most prevalent absenteeism reasons relate to musculoskeletal, respiratory, digestive and domestic/personal matters.

Primary healthcare cover

Commencing in 2018, Sun International rolled-out comprehensive primary healthcare cover to all employees (in South Africa) that were not already covered by a compulsory medical aid membership. During 2019, we conducted extensive awareness campaigns resulting in a significant uptake in benefit utilisation. This is a clear indication of the need for quality, private medical services provided by the programme.

HIV management programme

In South Africa we rolled out an improved HIV management programme commencing in January 2018, applicable to employees who are not members of a medical aid scheme. The purpose of the programme is to: assist HIV-positive employees on primary healthcare with maintaining ARV treatment adherence; help them overcome any barriers; and ensure they live a healthy and productive life. This improved programme had significant success in its first year. Since inception, 131 Sun international employees have been enrolled onto the LifeSense HIV Disease Management programme. Currently 121 members are active. Members of medical aid schemes are covered by their specific scheme’s HIV rules.

Onsite testing

The onsite testing service is active at all units. A total of 2 296 onsite tests were conducted (which includes HIV and health risk assessments) during the year. The prevalence of HIV is approximately 2%, while TB symptoms are low at 1.65%. Ongoing awareness campaigns on employees knowing their HIV and TB status continued. Post exposure prophylaxis cover is also provided which can prevent employees contracting HIV through accidental exposure.


We acknowledge that employees are impacted by the difficult economic climate. To assist employees with financial literacy training and retirement planning, we rolled out financial literacy workshops, in conjunction with the ASISA Foundation, to employees earning R20 000 or less per month. Over the past two years (2018 and 2019) 97 Saver Waya Waya WageWise sessions were held and attended by approximately 3 000 employees.


  • Completing the roll-out of Sun International’s Sun Academy learning platform
  • Developing and implementing additional training modules on the Sun Academy platform for other core functions
  • Continuing to implement the CLEAR principles to improve customer satisfaction levels
  • Rolling out Sun International’s mentorship and coaching programme across all South African units as part of our succession strategy


Regional employee statistics
Permanent full-time employees Number 4 501 4 773 244 229 550 543 4 229 4 512
Permanent part-time employees Number 4 594 3 997 1 2 0 0 587 576
Skills development spend R million 100.3 117 2.1 1.8 0.05 0.27 13.1 13.17
Female management employees % 46 45 37 38 39 38 34 32
Employee turnover % 13 11 12 19 8 10 35 44
Employees in bargaining unit % 67 64 0 0 19 21 37 35

Number of employees
Region Country Female Female(%) Male Total Female Female (%) Male Total
South Africa South Africa 5 131 56.42 3 964 9 095 4 847 55.27 3 923 8 770
SunSlots South Africa 105 42.86 140 245 100 43.29 131 231
South African total 5 236 56.06 4 104 9 340 4 947 54.96 4 054 9 001
Other Africa Nigeria 104 29.13 253 357 105 30.88 235 340
Swaziland 77 39.9 116 193 78 38.42 125 203
Africa total 181 32.91 369 550 183 33.70 360 543
Sun Dreams Argentina 199 42.16 273 472 295 48.36 315 610
Chile 1 529 48.22 1 642 3 171 1 562 48.20 1 679 3 241
Colombia 30 54.55 25 55 23 50.00 23 46
Panama 71 41.04 102 173 71 39.89 107 178
Peru 383 40.53 562 945 406 40.08 607 1 013
Sun Dreams Latam total 2 212 45.93 2 604 4 816 2 357 46.32 2 731 5 088
GROUP TOTAL 7 629 51.88 7 077 14 706 7 487 51.17 7 145 14 632