Pan African Resources strives to minimise potentially negative social impacts caused by our mining operations while promoting opportunities for the local communities. To this end, we are committed to monitoring, measuring and managing the social and economic impacts created by our operations, in line with our approved SLPs. The Group reports annually to the DMR – including an assessment of the potential impact and action plans where deviations are identified.
Our operations engage in a range of development projects and community relations activities, which promotes the sustainable welfare within the communities. In addition, wherever possible, the Group promotes responsible and ethical management of its supply chain by encouraging suppliers to support local economic development.
The Group is committed to upholding and promoting the human rights of our employees and contractors, our suppliers, and the communities in which we operate. We recognise people’s rights to culture, heritage and tradition through identifying, recording and supporting indigenous cultural heritage.
Barberton Mines is a primary employer in an area with unemployment of approximately 37%.
To address the needs of the community in a fair and effective manner, the mine established a fully staffed CSI office. The staff consists of a CSI officer, a dedicated community liaison officer, three support staff and an intern.
The community liaison officer attends monthly ward council meetings to discuss and identify potential beneficiaries of the CSI programme. The CSI office then selects appropriate projects within the community. This is done in close consultation with the community and all selected projects are registered with the Ward Independent Development Plan of the Umjindi Local Municipality.
Barberton Mines has established a Transformation Trust to generate additional funds to invest back into the community, through encouraging our suppliers to contribute 1.0% of their contract value to the Trust. The objectives of the Trust are to improve the quality of life of the local community, to create jobs and to promote socio-economic development.
A primary CSI focus is on education. In the previous year Barberton Mines completed the ZAR13 million Sinqobile Primary School for 950 learners. This school has 24 classrooms, a Grade R block (pre-school), sports fields and a multimedia centre. With the completion of the school the teacher: learner ratio has decreased from 1: 70 to 1: 54.
During the year under review the mine built eight additional classrooms at the Sinqobile Primary School, which further reduced the teacher: learner ratio to an acceptable 1: 34. The new buildings include a science lab, a computer lab and a library. Barberton Mines also donated all the furniture and equipment required for these new classrooms.
At the Emjindini Secondary School Project the Trust funded a fully equipped science lab (Grade 10 to 12), from which 120 learners are currently benefiting. The Trust also funded five temporary classrooms to house learners while the school is being refurbished.
To date ZAR1.0 million has been spent on renovating and converting the old Sheba Mine Hostel into four classrooms and a library facility for the Kaap Vallei Primary School.
During the year the Trust also sponsored 16 full-time bursaries to the value of ZAR2.0 million in the fields of Geology, Mining Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Mineral Surveying. These bursaries include the full tuition fee, accommodation, a monthly stipend and prescribed textbooks.
Representatives of the mine attend monthly and quarterly human settlement and LED meetings of the local Govan Mbeki municipality. The total CSI contribution to community projects in the year amounted to ZAR3.9 million. Evander Mines undertook several projects that support the implementation of the local Independent Development Plans, including those set out below:
- Conversion and renovation of 42 old hostel rooms at Musimuhle Village into family unit accommodation.
- The old hostel block at Winkelhaak hostel was converted into a school. The project commenced in October 2013 and was handed over in January 2014. It now benefits 290 children. On completion of the next phase of the project the school will accommodate 600 children.
- The building of a ZAR6.5 million bakery and retail stalls in the Embalenhle township is on schedule. The equipment has been purchased and is being installed and the bakery is expected to be operational by September 2014. The bakery will provide bread to the community.
Phoenix Platinum identified five feeder communities as community stakeholders. The management team regularly visits the communities and liaises closely with the ward councillors on the needs of the communities.
The lack of potable water was identified as a primary need for these communities and a decision was reached with the ward councillor to address this challenge through constructing a solar powered borehole. This borehole was commissioned during the prior financial year and provides clean and free water to 40 households. During 2014, Phoenix Platinum handed over a second solar powered borehole to the Modderspruit/Bapong community at the local community hall which is the water source for 50 families.
The community members pay for municipal water supplied by water trucks. Our small token goes a long way in making life easier for some families.