GPI aspires to be an employer of choice, as it believes that the sustainability and growth of the Group is as dependent on its people as it is on its operational processes and investment deals. Over the past year, GPI has grown our employee base by more than four times due to the BURGER KING® expansion and this has tested our processes and policies.

With the Slots operations at a mature level, the focus is on nurturing and developing the BURGER KING® brand.

It is critical that the group policies and procedures reflect a fair and sustainable employment environment. The growth in employee numbers will continue at an accelerated pace and GPI is determined to meet the challenge this brings by ensuring that training and development opportunities are available to all of its people. It is imperative that GPI has the appropriate human resources policies and processes in place, which ensure that everyone in the Group can grow and develop to their full potential, irrespective of ethnicity, gender, social standing or disability.


The competition for talent, and our commitment to meeting the aspirations of all employees, creates significant challenges for the leadership of the business. The business environment is competitive and GPI constantly has to come up with new and innovative ways of meeting employee expectations.

Over the past year, GPI has grown its employee base by more than four times due to the BURGER KING® expansion and this has tested our processes and policies.


The timeous recruitment of suitable employees to meet the roll-out of our BURGER KING® stores remains challenging. Matching employees with store locations is imperative in ensuring a sustainable workforce; GPI does not want its employees to travel too far to get to work, as this affects their travel costs, time spent travelling and ability to work shifts. As such, a great deal of attention is paid to streamlining employee recruitment with new site assessments.


The Group is pleased to note that for the year ended June 2014, GPI created over 1 000 new jobs, mainly through its BURGER KING® operations. In line with its focus on youth employment and employing the previously unemployed, GPI have established a partnership with Harambee, and through their accelerated youth employment programme, GPI placed 899 employees over the past year.

Harambee is a business initiative that provides a sustainable way of successfully employing and retaining first-time entrants into the job market. A young South African who can get, and keep, a first job for 12 months or more has an 85% chance of being employed for the rest of their lives (Development Bank of South Africa).

Harambee’s accelerated youth development programme bridges the gap between school and workplace readiness, through the provision of training, i.e. basic work life, time management, maths, language skills, budgeting and many other skills needed to be successful in a job.

Of the 1 285 appointments made during the year, 64% were female and 98% have been Historical Disadvantage Individuals (HDI) appointments.


Shoekree Jason (22) grew up in Manenberg and attended Silverstream Senior Secondary School. During his high school years, he engaged in community-related projects. He is a self-professed animal lover, volunteered as a part-time veterinary assistant at the Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) for three years. He assisted with the basic care of the animals and cleaning the kennels. In testament to his hard work, PDSA offered him a scholarship to became a qualified veterinary assistant in Pretoria; however, his mother felt that Pretoria was too far away from home, and would not give her permission. Shoekree also assisted his father at Fair Cape with bread deliveries during school holidays.

He started his career with BURGER KING® on 8 July 2013 as a crew member. In January 2014, he was promoted to crew trainer, a mere six months after being employed, and by April 2014, had earned his second promotion to supervisor-in-training. This ambitious young man attributes his success to being passionate about BURGER KING®’s brand and his desire to make his family proud. He also plans to rewrite his matric.

Shoekree is proof that, regardless of where you start, with hard work and perseverance, success is achievable.

Learning and development

All BURGER KING® employees undergo mandatory training before they are placed in-store. The high volume of new employees has necessitated a focused approach to training and GPI has established training facilities in the Western Cape and Gauteng. A number of dedicated internal BURGER KING® trainers have been appointed to facilitate the training, which is overseen by BURGER KING® Europe to ensure that the brand’s rigorous standards are maintained.

To date, GPI has spent over R3 000 000 on training, which excludes the salary cost of training. GPI has trained more than 1 100 employees and spent over 7 000 man-hours training employees.


Annually, GPI offers internships to HDI graduates from various institutions. Interns who display the behavioural and performance attributes GPI expect of its employees are presented with employment or further training opportunities.


At GPI, it is important that excellence in the workplace is rewarded as GPI believe that investing in its own people is the surest way to retain valuable human capital in the business. Through its performance management processes, GPI is constantly seeking opportunities to advance high-achieving employees within the Group structure.

Learning and development – internship

Morné Lee Scheaffers (26) attended Hoërskool President and matriculated in 2006. As an aspiring rugby player, he had big hopes of making a career in rugby and attended the Boland Rugby Academy for two years, completing an NQF 4 in Sports Management. In 2009, he enrolled with TSiBA Education for Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA), which he successfully completed in 2013. This gave him the opportunity to learn about the business world and its various functions.

He was appointed as an intern in the finance department at Grand Gaming Western Cape, a subsidiary of GPI. He performed very well in this role and was considered for an assistant accountant position. His temporary contract was extended, after which he successfully applied for permanent position as a premises accountant.

Morné is still an avid rugby player and enjoys spending time with his friends on the rugby field. He intends to use this opportunity at GPI to grow and achieve his short-term goals, and more importantly, he believes that this is a stepping stone to meeting his long-term objectives.

Learning and development – promotion

Farahnaaz Abrahams (29) was recently appointed as a Junior Regional Operations Manager. Farahnaaz grew up in Woodstock. She attended Harold Cressy High School in 1998, and she took advantage of all the sports programmes available, participating in cricket, soccer, touch rugby, hockey, netball and athletics. During her time at high school, Farahnaaz was awarded many accolades, such as Sportsperson of the year, the best performance awards for both Cricket and Soccer and she was a member of the Western Province U/19 girls’ cricket team.

In 2002, she matriculated and enrolled at Cape College to study Business Management. Unfortunately due to financial and family reasons, Farahnaaz was unable to complete her studies.

In May 2003, she started as a part-time employee at KFC. Farahnaaz quickly climbed the career ladder, earning her first promotion after only six months and, within four years, had been appointed as restaurant manager. During the 10 years at KFC, Farahnaaz facilitated three restaurant openings, worked in nine different stores and trained a total of 15 supervisors and managers and was awarded the best back of house (BOH) team member.

In search of new growth and development opportunities, she decided to join the BURGER KING® team as an assistant manager in April 2013. Since joining BURGER KING®, Farahnaaz has gone from strength to strength, and was even awarded the Golden Whopper for excellence. In July 2014, all her hard work and diligence paid off and she was promoted to junior regional operations manager.

The best way to sum up Farahnaaz’s journey of success, would be through her own humble words, “I can only thank the Almighty for guiding me through my path, making the right choices and also giving me the strength and ability to work as hard as I can and do my best to grow further.”

GPI, is proud to have Farahnaaz as part of BURGER KING® team, and expect great things to come for this rising star.

Learning and development – promotion

Mandisa Sikolpati (38) grew up in King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape. She started with GPI as a cleaner in the technical department in 2006, where she worked for five and a half years. When the Company advertised for a receptionist in May 2012, she successfully applied for the position. She worked there for about six months and was successful in the role.

That same year, a temporary vacancy arose for a controlled stationery officer. Mandisa was appointed in this role, and excelled in the position. When a permanent vacancy arose for a controlled stationary officer, Mandisa was the clear choice.

Mandisa is passionate about everything she does, and takes great pride in her work. As a testament to her determination, she attended night school in an effort to complete her Grade 12. She is currently awaiting her results.

Mandisa’s philosophy is that life is difficult, but if you work hard, you can achieve what you want. She is passionate about always doing her best in every opportunity that comes her way.


The Group’s focus remains on transformation as a key part of its business strategy, and this is reflected in its recruitment and management statistics. Having recruited 85% of our employees from the HDI grouping and by improving HDI representation at management level to 82% (2013: 54%); GPI continues proving its commitment.

With the focus on youth employment and employment of the previously unemployed, the age profile has changed dramatically, with 92% of employees being under 40 compared with 83% in 2013.

GPI remains committed to assisting the country in achieving its transformation objectives as laid down in legislation and the principles of BBBEE and transformation are embedded in the strategic and operational plans of the business.

Performance management

This is the second year after the roll-out of our new performance management system and the results are beginning to show. Quarterly reviews take place at an executive level and biannual reviews are in place for all other employees.

Managers and employees undergo performance management training on an annual basis, to ensure that the principles of performance management remain uppermost in their minds. The training includes an understanding of how performance is linked to the achievement of organisational objectives, as well as the measurement of these.

Remuneration and promotional opportunities are directly linked to the performance management system, and each year this is refined to ensure that it remains in tune with business objectives.

Reward and recognition

In line with best practice, the Group has a job grading and remuneration benchmarking system in place. All jobs are graded on the Peromnes grading system and executive jobs are measured using Execeval. Remuneration data is submitted annually to the Deloitte Remuneration Survey.

Benchmarking of all jobs against the survey takes place twice annually and these results are used in the budgeting process to ensure that the Company remains competitive in the remuneration space.

Performance reward programmes are linked to specific roles in the Company, which drives the achievement of specific business objectives, in particular, revenue generation, acquisition and customer service. For more detail, click here.

A three tier recognition programme is place to motivate employees to perform at higher levels. Through this programme, employees are eligible for instant petty rewards, financial rewards and the Employee of the Year award.

In 2013 GPI recognised 15 employees for five years of long service and these awards included a certificate, R5 000 cash and five days extra leave per employee. GPI also recognised a number of employees for living the GPI values and this included awards for:

  • Grand team
  • Grand ambassador
  • Grand attitude
  • Above and beyond
  • Managers Award

Employee engagement and well-being

This year, the Group conducted its second employee engagement survey to which GPI received a 74% response rate. The results and findings of this study showed loyalty towards the brand and employees understanding their purpose within the greater scheme.

Statistically, 77% of employees were proud to be a part of the organisation and 76% were happy to put in extra effort if and when needed. Areas for improvement were communication, workload management and remuneration.

Overall the results were constructive and showed insight into increasing overall efficiency. These results were filtered back to the business for incorporation into the HR strategic plan and departmental planning.

The Group recognises the strong connection between employee wellness and productivity.

GPI has partnered with Aon’s Elevate programme to provide its employees with a comprehensive employee wellness programme. Through this programme, our employees and their immediate dependants have 24/7-telephonic access to:

  • Pyscho-social counselling
  • Physical and health counselling
  • Financial advice
  • Family counselling
  • Legal advice

Furthermore, they can attend six face-to-face sessions with a qualified counsellor for more in-depth issues that need to be addressed. Employees also have access to the Elevate website for health and wellness education and receive a monthly newsletter on topical issues.

GPI also hosts an annual wellness day event for all employees, which includes various activities such as Biofit fitness testing, eyesight testing, HIV testing and the Discovery screening that includes blood and cholesterol testing.

Employee well-being is a key contributor to assisting employees during times of illness or personal challenge, and serves to create awareness of health and wellness in the form of preventative action.


The 2015 outlook is a busy one and, with the continued growth in the Group, to achieve our objectives GPI needs to remain vigilant in keeping its employees engaged and motivated. GPI will continue focusing on recruitment, training and development, as well as ensuring that it meets its transformation targets.

As HR GPI tries to partner with the broader business, building relationships at all levels with the primary aim of maximising the value of its human capital and creating a balance between the needs of our employees and the needs of the business. GPI aims to achieve this through:

  • Developing a workforce reflective of the society within which GPI operates, that is safe, free of discrimination and harassment, and ensuring that GPI upholds the spirit of the law in everything it does.
  • Partnering with service providers that share our passion and values of investing in our employees, to uplift our communities and give impetus to the South African transformation agenda.
  • Attracting and retaining talented employees, through an effective employee value proposition, developing effective leaders and nurturing a high-performance culture that fosters and rewards teamwork, inclusivity, ethical behaviour, service delivery and responsible profitability.