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Northern Cape Business 2023/24

  • Text
  • Tourism
  • Southafrica
  • Agriculture
  • Sustainable
  • Renewable
  • Mining
  • Solar
  • Business
  • Investment
  • Development
  • Port
  • Infrastructure
  • Green energy
  • Sector
  • Economic
  • Kimberley
  • Municipality
  • African
  • Province
  • Hydrogen
The 2023/24 edition of Northern Cape Business is the 13th issue of this highly successful publication that has, since its launch in 2009, established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Northern Cape Province. Officially supported and used by the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Northern Cape Business is unique as a business and investment guide that focuses exclusively on the province. Specific investment opportunities are treated in detail in this journal, with a focus on geographic hotspots that are due to become the focus of sector-focused infrastructure development. Green hydrogen is the subject of a special feature in the early pages of the journal, but the subject comes up again in the Energy Overview.

FOCUS Transforming

FOCUS Transforming communities Reimagining mining to improve people’s lives Sishen Mine looks back at 70 years of making a difference. Andre Roux, Sishen Mine GM Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen Mine, located in Kathu, Northern Cape, celebrates its 70th year of operation in 2023. Originally a diamond-drilling programme in 1947, it transitioned to an iron ore operation in 1953 and has played a substantial role in contributing towards the economic, infrastructural and social development of the area. André Roux, the mine’s General Manager, reflecting on the anniversary, says when Sishen first began mining in the area, “it opened up a world of opportunities for generations to come – and continues to do so today. And the work to shape a better future for all remains a key driver of our mine.” Sishen is one of the largest employers in the Northern Cape Province, with the majority of its employees hailing from the surrounding communities. Over the past 70 years, thanks to Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan, which is implemented by all the businesses in the group, including Kumba, Sishen now mines in a smarter, safer and sustainable way. “With an enduring shared value of R63-billion created in the first half of 2023, Kumba is dedicated to supporting sustainable economic development in its host communities beyond the lifespan of our mines,” says Roux. “Guided by our Purpose and Values, we’re constantly working to improve the lives of the people in our communities – Kumba’s priority focus areas in our socio-economic plan are education, youth skills development, health and wellness, connectivity, water and sanitation underpinned by creating alternative livelihoods.” Another community focus has been the Sishen Iron Ore Company-Community Development Trust (SIOC-CDT), established in 2006 by Kumba. The trust also focuses on Sishen’s host communities, among others, and has invested more than R1-billion in socio-economic and community development projects. Kumba has also set ambitious targets for its mines: by 2030, for instance, it aims to create five jobs offsite for every job onsite. Since 2018, Kumba has facilitated over 29 000 offsite jobs through various initiatives ranging from our inclusive procurement, enterprise and supplier development programmes in collaboration with Zimele and SIOC-CDT as well as education and CSI projects arising out of the Social Labour Plans. It also supports the Youth Employment Services (YES) programme, placing previously disadvantaged, unemployed youth from local communities into 12-month work experience and training opportunities at the mine. “We support local SMMEs and provide advice and support for their business activities,” says Roux. “During 2022, Kumba spent R5.4-billion on host community suppliers. Altogether we spent around R18-billion with BEE business suppliers, thereby making a significant contribution to the economic transformation of the Northern Cape region where we employ 81% of our employees, including contractors. Our community healthcare initiatives also continue to improve access to quality medical and healthcare services. We continue to strengthen community health systems. Our programmes are aligned to the UN’s SDG 3 targets, and are focused on HIV/Aids, gender-based violence and substance abuse. Our education programme aims to ensure that schools in our host communities perform among the NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2023/24 34

top 30% of public schools by 2025 and in the top 20% by 2030. In 2022, almost 81% of our participating high schools performed above the national matric pass rate. We have made good progress and now support 45 schools and 48 Early Childhood Development Centres. Over 16 000 learners were reached in phase 1 of the programme and a further 11 000 are being supported in phase 2. Many students who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to have a tertiary education have benefitted from the bursary programme. In the first phase of the programme, Kumba has seen the average mathematics pass rate improve from 74% in 2021, to 81% in 2022. The second phase launched earlier in 2023 added 20 schools and 20 early childhood development centres. Kumba is also investing in libraries to enhance educational resources and supporting matriculants through bursary schemes and many other training and development opportunities. Sishen Community Bursary Programme The Sishen Community Bursary Programme assists students in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district to pursue tertiary studies and minimise their exclusion on the basis of not having the requisite funding for their fees. The programme helps students in their first, second, third or fourth year of study who are unemployed and between the ages of 17 and 35 and there are currently 26 beneficiaries. Sishen also offers a driver’s licence programme to empower unemployed youth in Mapoteng. This gives them an added boost when they are applying for jobs, as many positions require that applicants have a driver’s licence. “There are currently 60 participants on the programme,” says Roux. “Mapoteng is one of Beneficiaries of the General Manager’s Incentive Bursary Scheme SMME support at Market Day our doorstep communities and unemployment is very high, so we want to ensure young people have the best possible chance of finding work.” “Kumba’s investment in the community continues to bring about positive change,” says George Benjamin, Sishen Corporate Affairs Manager. “ It’s been gratifying to see communities in our host municipality of Gamagara, our adjacent labour sending areas in JTG and its people not only becoming more prosperous but also more inspired and provided with more opportunities. Kathu has grown from a small mining town to an economic hub. “People are an important part of our business and we engage our stakeholders to involve, consult and collaborate in decisions that will impact them. Through our world-class stakeholder approach guided by the International Finance Corporation performance standards and our Social Way Policy we aim to remain transparent and build trust. “The mine has for years supported growth in the Northern Cape, which is celebrated in the 70th anniversary theme of grace, growth and generosity,” he continues. “The mine has shown growth on the safety, technology and culture fronts. Every day we witness the grace of the people who have been the heart of this operation for 70 years. And every day we see generosity in action in big and small ways, as we work to create thriving communities in the areas where we operate.” “This is a very significant milestone for us,” Roux concludes.“ And even though we are celebrating the anniversary and what we’ve achieved, we know there is still a great deal of work to do. Transformation is not a destination, it’s a journey, and we are committed to transforming not just our mine, but everyone that our mining affects, whether that be local government or the communities our employees live in, and the country as a whole. “We hope that by the time our next big anniversary arrives, in a decade’s time, that we will have an even better story to tell, a story of thriving communities that we have helped to co-create. This is how we are reimagining mining to improve people’s lives.” ■

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