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Herman Breedt - Living His Dream

Herman Breedt's motto is: "Live your dream, you don't want to sit one day with regrets and say why didn't I do this or if only I did that".

Breedt is certainly not sitting still and strives to be an active and engaged business person with a passion for involvement with people. Currently, this goal means that he is president of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, chief executive officer of SA Labour Dynamics and a director at Red Ant Training Academy.

Breedt says that his professional journey has been inspired by his love for people. He said, "That is why I studied industrial psychology. I enjoy people, I know people, I read people quite easily, I assess people easily, that is why I am successful at what I do, I love my job and I get results."

The interest in people caused him to study industrial psychology at the University of Pretoria where he obtained a master's degree in personnel management. Breedt's working career in human resources began with a position at Eskom. He then spent a few years in the trade union industry where he served on the then National Manpower Commission (NMC). He said that his work in the trade union industry was prompted by the desire to understand what the other side of the desk to management looked like, and that he is glad that he had done so.

Breedt was elected to serve on the Labour Market Chamber of NEDLAC (Tri Party National Body consisting of government, employer and labour representation). He was also one of the delegates selected to attend
the ILO (International Labour Organisation) in Geneva, Switzerland, when South Africa was allowed back for the first time in 1993.

During this period, Breedt was elected to the national executive committee of the Motor Industry Bargaining Council, serving on the Motor Industry Training Board and Motor Industry Pension and Provident Fund.

Breedt also served as a national executive committee member of FEDUSA Trade Union Federation (The second largest trade union federation to COSATU).

In his capacity at NEDLAC, Breedt acted on behalf of labour and participated (with government and employer bodies) in developing South Africa's new labour laws in the post-apartheid era, including negotiating on acts relating to labour relations, employment equity and skills development.

Due to his knowledge and experience, he was one of the first commissioners to be appointed by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), which was on a parttime basis. He was involved in conciliation, arbitration, meditation and facilitation of industrial and labour disputes i.e. wage, unfair dismissal and other disputes.

SA Labour Dynamics
True to his desire to follow his dream, it was while working in the building and construction industry, as well as acting as a part time commissioner, that Breedt opened his consulting firm SA Labour Dynamics in 1996.

The company deals with all aspects of human resources and specialises in labour law issues and may represent its clients in disciplinary hearings, union negotiations, CCMA and bargaining councils.

SA Labour Dynamics represents clients nationally and operates in all industries and business sectors i.e. motor, metal and engineering, industry, construction, food and beverage, security, manufacturing and industry sectors.

Red Farms Training Academy
In his capacity as a labour consultant, Breedt was contracted by Johan Bosch, CEO of Red Ant Security Relocation & Eviction Services (Red Ants) to assist in a disciplinary issue. As a consequence of this engagement, Breedt says he was motivated to get closely involved with the Red Farms, as a means of giving back to society. He then was appointed as a director in the Red Farms Training Academy.

Red Ants is a multi-disciplinary company offering services in the agriculture sector, farming, security and sanitation. Corporate social responsibility is an important part of the ethos of Red Ants and this programme has been directed towards education, with a special interest in reducing unemployment amongst the youth.

Consequently, the Red Farms Academy was established to fulfil the need of a formal agricultural training institute.

Currently, Red Farms Training Academy is conducting a learnership for 200 learners through a discretionary grant obtained from the Services Seta. The structured 12 month learning programme, which concludes in September 2018, includes theoretical and practical workplace experiential learning in animal farming and crop production.

"The learners get paid a stipend and will complete their training with a fully-fledged qualification in farming (NQF Level 4). It's a win-win situation," commented Breedt. "Through the learnership, the learners who were previously unemployed have been given a second opportunity to obtain a qualification, which will make a difference in their lives."

Once the learnership is completed the learners will be assisted further to obtain land via government grants and mentored in establishing their own farms. Red Farms will buy produce from these farmers so that they may be assured of participation in the supply chain.

Breedt commented, "What we do here is just amazing, not only for the community but in terms of an agri-farm. We have got the farm, the training, as well as the whole implementation and mentorship programme - it's the full circle. We have a very successful story and our top management strives to achieve its goals as a close-knit team."

Gauteng Premier David Makhura recently visited the Academy and was impressed with holistic approach of the agri-farm programme, which fits in with the government's own goals for the development of youth and women including co-operatives.

Red Farms Training Academy is currently undergoing a due diligence assessment by the Services Seta with the intention of rolling out a further learnership programme with a cohort of 500 learners. In addition, further learnerships in security are to be provided in conjunction with the Safety and Security Seta (SASSETA).

Breedt has also taken on additional responsibilities at Red Ants, which now include the Krugersdorp Game
Reserve, Human Resources and Sales portfolios.

Speaking of his role as President at the JCCI, Breedt says that during his tenure he intends to concentrate on ingoing and outgoing trade delegations to make sure that South Africa is back on the map. He has recently led delegations to Dubai, Taiwan, Djibouti and Russia. Future trips are planned to New York, Jordan and Iran with the main aim of networking with business people.

"South Africa needs to build on the opportunities that we have, and the Chamber intends to be part of the process," said Breedt.

Life is about choices
When not at work Breedt enjoys taking time out of his busy schedule to spend time with his family. He says, "To breathe again and take time to relax, I go back home to my acre stand and enjoy the garden and the fish ponds."

Breedt concluded by quoting, "You are not born a winner, you are not born a loser, you are born a chooser." He said, "Life is about choices - you have to make the right choices."

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 Herman Breedt Living His Dream.pdf

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