Intellectual capital includes knowledge-based intangibles and includes intellectual property, software, systems, procedures and protocols that have been developed over time. It also includes the brand and reputation of a company.
Knowledge, skills, training and experience are essential aspects of what is known as intellectual capital, and critical for the growth and development of our company. At DRDGOLD we believe in nurturing our people and, in so doing, developing our intellectual capital. Significant effort is placed on initiating programmes to ensure that this resource – the employees and workers who represent our intellectual capital – can be fully developed.
Investment in people contributes directly to the success of our company just as investment in machinery and equipment boosts manufactured capital, or rehabilitating tailing dams with indigenous vegetation makes a positive contribution to managing natural capital.
The 21st century promises to be as exciting and innovative as the last, and DRDGOLD is committed to developing and extending its people to enable them to meet the challenges of the future. Intellectual capital is closely tied to human capital, and our various programmes and initiatives have been discussed in that section.
The development of a method for capturing intellectual property and knowledge for posterity is a long way off, and a challenge for future generations. In the meantime, however, companies must ensure that employees are adequately trained and mentored to ensure that the exchange of knowledge is managed effectively, and not lost to the company.
At DRDGOLD we are fully cognisant that to face the challenge of constantly changing markets and rapidly developing technologies, we must develop the capabilities and competencies necessary for adaptation and realignment to remain competitive and profitable.
A good example of the use to which we put our intellectual capital, is the R&D project that has been designed to investigate ways of extracting more gold from the tailings material. Another example, at a different level, of our attempts to access intellectual capital is our Brainbox competition. This initiative offers a R5 000 cash prize to employees for the best idea on saving costs or promoting efficiencies. Since the inception of the competition we have awarded the prize to two people.