South Durban Basin community leaders joined Engen employees in a Stakeholder Engagement workshop in November to further strengthen the relationship between Engen and the local community.
The workshop, run by the Nizas Training Institute, was held at the Engen Marine Terminal (formerly the Engen Refinery), and was attended by community leaders from Wentworth, Merebank, Umlazi and Lamontville who all serve on the Community-Engen Joint Committee.
The initiative stemmed from a request by Joint Committee community leaders to help refine their stakeholder engagement skills and meeting etiquette, with the aim of ensuring future engagements were more meaningful and productive to contribute to the further development of South Durban communities.
The workshop covered several topics, including the importance of professionalism in stakeholder engagement, effective community engagement, and conflict management.
The interactive training also provided participants with a comprehensive understanding of the stakeholder engagement process through robust discussions and group activities.
Community leaders shared their experiences, views, and challenges, focusing on practical applications of community development commitments to address identified challenges such as feedback mechanisms, communication with communities, and meaningful community participation.
Dr James Xolani Nyawera, Engen’s Head of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement attended the workshop and was optimistic that the session would facilitate improved collaboration between Engen and the community by ensuring that the Community-Engen Joint Committee is a unified force for the improvement of neighbouring communities.
“As the training progressed, we delved into refining our responses to better assist communities, particularly during transitions and ongoing projects at the Engen Marine Terminal,” commented Nyawera.
Community leaders emphasised the need to nurture positive relationships grounded in trust and mutual respect for efficient engagement and consultation to minimise misunderstandings.
Community leader Yusuf Vawda commended the training, stating: “This comprehensive and insightful session will enhance and improve future engagement with the communities which we serve.
“We look forward to incorporating the principles learned.”