SIZA Social (Ethical) Audits:
A total of 403 Social audits have been conducted for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 October 2021. At this stage, a further 91 social audits have already been formally scheduled for the remainder of the year until December.
SIZA Environmental Audits
A total of 22 Environmental audits have been conducted for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 October 2021. At this stage, a further three environmental audits have already been formally scheduled until December 2021.
Critical Alert Notifications
A total of 23 Critical Alert notifications were reported to SIZA for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 October 2021. These critical non-compliances resulted from 16 audits at 14 member sites. All critical findings have been reported to the respective buyers in accordance with the SIZA Alert Notification policy.
Currently, 11 of the 23 critical non-compliances have been resolved in full and the remaining 12 are in the process of implementing adequate corrective action before the scheduled deadlines. If corrective actions are not completed in full before the given deadline, the producer will be penalised with a shorter audit validity period of 12 months regardless of the initial audit risk rating.
The critical non-compliances were raised on the following:
- 7 findings: Unsecured, unlabelled, and inadequate management of chemical storage facilities and containers, inadequate PPE, etc.
- 5 findings: Employees are not paid as per the National Minimum Wage Act per hour, but according to a piece-rate system. This results in the underpayment of piece-rate employees for work conducted and, in some cases, disciplinary wage deductions for quality issues during picking.
- 3 findings: Inadequate management and oversight on machinery and equipment on site, i.e., tractors not serviced, broken PTO covers, broken equipment, inadequate risk assessments, etc.
- 2 findings: No or inadequate contracts in place, inadequate management of rest periods (daily and weekly), overtime payment not according to law, and insufficient payment for public holidays.
- 1 finding: Employees worked excessive overtime hours resulting in employees not receiving the legally required rest periods between shifts (daily and weekly).
- 1 finding: Seasonal employees receive no payslips, inadequate monitoring of hours, wages cannot be correctly determined, along with rest breaks, overtime that is managed incorrectly, etc.
- 1 finding: Inadequate due diligence system in place to monitor labour service providers, resulting in insufficient evidence to verify hours worked, whether the minimum wage is being paid, or whether employees receive leave benefits.
- 3 finding: Accommodation does not meet minimum health and safety standards, i.e., broken toilets, no gender separation in bathrooms, insufficient bathroom facilities, broken electrical installations, insufficient fire-fighting equipment available, waste areas unhygienic, occupants sleep on the floor, etc.
Long-Term Improvement Plans
SIZA producers can submit a long-term improvement plan as part of a corrective action when it is not possible to show adequate corrective action immediately following an audit. This is normally applicable when large financial expenses or longer-term planning is involved, such as building/accommodation renovations, new facilities that are being built or the restructuring of facilities such as filling points, cooking, or bathroom facilities. Producers are afforded to submit a plan, along with a management commitment and detailed deadlines before the auditor will close the corrective action. The long-term plan is then monitored via the MySIZA platform to ensure producers remain within the timelines and should provide evidence of their progress. This will assist producers to have a valid Audit Completion Letter while they are implementing the long-term corrective actions as long as they keep to the agreed timelines.
Currently, a total of 171 long-term improvement plans have been submitted by SIZA producers. To date, a total of 53 of these plans have been closed successfully while a further 108 are still in progress and within the deadlines agreed to.