We all started this year amid a terrible second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa. As we did throughout last year, we showed terrific resilience to succeed through this period. Much of this is due to the hard work and sacrifice of our people in the field and for this we all salute you.
Thankfully, the impact of the second wave was short lived and we are now in a period of relative normality. These ‘normal’ times come with their own risks as we can easily drop our guard. Please ensure you adhere to the Covid-19 controls at work every single day. It seems we are going to live with Covid-19 for at least the rest of this year, so it is important we remain ready and resolute. We will get through this stronger than we have ever been.
Our Rail School in Rosslyn continues to go from strength to strength and I take great pride in the knowledge that we are investing so much back into our people. This really is a company where with your hard work and the right attitude coupled with our investment into training and development, we make ambitions a reality.
As you are all aware, we have appointed Francois Welgemoed as our Technical Manager to fill the large boots that were left by Willie Nieman. Francois has done an outstanding job since being asked to fill in last year in an acting capacity as Workshop Manager and after a comprehensive recruitment campaign we concluded that despite all the CVs we were receiving, the best person was already with us.
I would like to thank Kevin Prozesky for assisting us as Acting Technical Director for most of last year. It has been a privilege to have his knowledge and experience in the business and I am very pleased to announce that he is going to continue to consult to us part-time as our Quality Manager in the technical division. The quality of the work that Francois and his team are delivering is already something we can be proud of – I cannot wait to see what we produce in the future.
Our commitment to safety has always been a cornerstone of our business and the statistics speak for themselves as by November 2020 we had achieved 19 months without a LTI. However, we have unfortunately experienced five avoidable injuries since December 2020. This is not the way we work. We need to redouble our focus. There will be a significant increase in attention from our managers in the coming weeks and months towards safety. Please support them, know your procedures, report your near misses, do your PTOs properly, always assess risk and think before you act.
Aligned to safety we will also, throughout the year, ramp up our focus on employee health. Last year we lost five people to health-related issues. Please value your health and invest in your wellbeing. You only have one life.
There are some exciting projects under development that should soon come to being. These will open new horizons and new opportunities. Every day, in the six countries in which we operate, we are changing the way that freight moves in Africa. It is going to be great to see that grow and for more countries to learn about what Traxtion can do.
All my best