HR Citizen – Volunteering for impact


HR Citizen –  Volunteering for impact
by  Marius Meyer

The month of June is an important month for three reasons. At the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP) we will have our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 23 June, and we will do our preparation work for the 4th Annual HR Standards Conference on 27-28 July. Thirdly, it is Youth Month as we celebrated Youth Day this week, and our new HR Citizen campaign is part of our vision for youth empowerment in South Africa.

First of all, I would like to invite you to our AGM. The AGM is a special event in which we celebrate our SABPP achievements over the last year. We also reflect on our challenges and future opportunities and we invite you as our valuable members to address the Board directly with your inputs. As usual we also have a special guest speaker, this time it will be Dr Louise van Rhyn from Partners for Possibility. They are a community-focussed non-profit organisation working in the area of social change, in particular addressing the education system at our schools. Louise will share their successes over the last year and invite you to become part of this innovative approach to social change and transformation. Already 66 SABPP HR professionals from Gauteng participated in this project with phenomenal success in improving underperforming schools.

As our contribution to Youth Month, the launch of the SABPP HR Citizen project is the highlight of the month. HR Citizen is an initiative of SABPP to create meaningful high impact opportunities for HR Professionals to become active citizens in their own profession and society more generally. It also provides them with opportunities to develop their leadership skills by participating in HR and

community projects impacting directly on society. Thus, HR Citizen empowers HR professionals to apply the two competencies of Duty to Society and Citizenship for the future as embodied in the South African HR Competency Model. Different projects will be created to ensure that a range of HR skills can be applied in making South Arica a better country. For instance, supporting underperforming schools with HR work in association with the Partners for Possibility Initiative provides a good platform for HR professionals to make a difference to the education system. Not only does it impact positively over the short term, it also addresses the long-term need for HR Managers to be able to employ competent school leavers and university graduates when they exit the education system.

An HR Citizen Committee will be formed to initiate projects, mobilise HR professionals and to approve and oversee initiatives in accordance with the above mandate. The following principles underpin HR Citizen:

activeA public event will be arranged to share the HR Citizen concept, to showcase early successes (e.g. Partners for Possibility and Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator) and to mobilise HR Professionals in getting involved. Starting close to home, an important project could also be to provide coaching/counselling to unemployed HR practitioners who are struggling to get into or back into the profession. Given the complex nature of some of the wider problems, collaboration with different stakeholders will be a key success factor.

Annual awards can be issued for the best projects. It is imperative that these projects address South Africa’s main problems: Inequality, Education, Poverty, Unemployment.

What do we ask from you?

1. If you feel you can make a leadership contribution to this project, please volunteer to join the HR Citizen Committee.

2. If you don’t feel able to volunteer for the committee, please keep an eye on our publications and website and sign up for a project which falls within your scope of expertise and which you can feel passionate about.

3. Tell everyone else about this project.

I want to thank all HR professionals for joining this exciting initiative in creating a national platform for us to make a difference to society. If you are interested to join the HR Citizen committee and/or participate in projects, please let us know on

Alternatively, please join us at the AGM on 23 June to learn about our vision for HR Citizen. To book your free seat at the AGM, please send an email to or phone our office on (011) 045 5400. SABPP members and non-members are most welcome to join us for the AGM.


Marius Meyer is CEO of SABPP. For regular news about HR Citizen, follow SABPP on twitter @SABPP1. For more information about the 4th Annual National HR Standards Conference on 27 July 2016 visit SABPP on


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