thanks to the H& I Broad Based Empowerment Trust ( HIBBET). After two years' service, staff become members of HIBBET, which owns 14 per cent of the company, making it the single largest shareholder. Because it has the same voting rights as other stockholders, it has a real voice in how the business is run, and has a seat on the company's board. Collecting the same dividends as other shareholders, beneficiaries of the trust have enjoyed earnings enhancements in excess of 20 per cent of their annual pay over the past few years. A final word about health: HIV/ AIDS is a real problem in South Africa, where it is estimated that one in four people is infected. H& I is working hard to de-stigmatize the problem, not only encouraging employees to make it known if they are HIV- positive but also providing voluntary annual screening tests to detect its presence. " We've had cases of intimidation," says Chemaly, " but when that happened, the intimidators were dismissed from our employ." H& I is a leader in the patient management of employees afflicted with this dreaded disease, and provides drugs and counselling free of charge to employees living with HIV. " We've managed to virtually halt HIV- related deaths in our company over the past four years, and we were particularly encouraged when out of 300 core employees, we only detected one new infection since our last testing phase three years ago, proving that the disease can be stopped. It's a problem affecting the whole of the country, and we all have to have a positive strategy for dealing with it. It's a matter of attitude and getting on with it," says Chemaly. Compared to many organisations operating on a climate of fear, it's encouraging to learn that a supportive environment can also be a very successful one.- Editorial research by Robbie Hodgson sets out to keep the business on its toes with major structural changes happening every five years or so. Before his present role as commercial director, Chemaly was responsible for managing projects. " When you are asked to take control of an area outside of your expertise," he says, " it calls for much personal introspection, but it also leads to fresh ideas being adopted. There is nothing worse for a business than to stagnate." There is consequently no such thing as dead man's shoes at H& I. Senior managers reaching their middle 50s in age voluntarily " move over" and let the next generation assume control. They are still bound to the business, but act as mentors in a " grandfather role," rather than as full- time hands-on managers. In fact, every manager in the business is charged with finding and grooming his successor. " We found our best growth came when we had a long- term people development plan," says Chemaly. " The grandfather philosophy we employ means there are visible opportunities for our younger staff. Anyone with drive and talent can move up through the ranks." Everyone at the business also shares in the company's profits, Haw & Inglis Civil Engineering ( Pty) Ltd July 09 www. bus- ex. com 75 " When you are asked to take control of an area outside of your expertise, it calls for much personal introspection, but it also leads to fresh ideas being adopted. There is nothing worse for a business than to stagnate"