Since 2008, Wesizwe's community development programme has been defined by the social and labour plan (SLP) commitments, and aims to make a positive contribution to sustainable community development. The key areas for socio-economic development have been selected in close collaboration with community authorities and municipal government structures to ensure alignment with the local integrated development plans.
These include infrastructure development, education and training, health support, local business development, provision of housing and job creation activities – including commercial agriculture and tourism. The Company acknowledges that it is through ongoing collaboration and engagement with local authorities that it will be able to fulfill its obligations.
CASE STUDY 1: The school project case study
Education is the centre piece of any empowerment initiative and forms the basis of growth of development of communities and the nation as a whole. For Wesizwe investing in education carries benefits for both the communities and the company, as it provides assist the community in creating an enabling environment for learning and teaching which in turn will provide future workforce for the mine and assist long empowerment of the community.
The educational infrastructure in the Ledig, Matooster and Mahobieskraal villages were reported to be of low standard and this affected the quality of education in the area. Through its Social and Labour Plan, post conducting a schools baseline study, Wesizwe committed to contribute towards the upliftment of primary and secondary education within the areas. Wesizwe then engaged the management of Ledig schools to align on the infrastructure needs as defined by the study and in consultation with the Department of Education.
A memorandum of understanding was signed with the Department of Education on the suggested interventions. The Phase 1 of the school refurbishment project was completed on 26 October 2012 with the following indicators: R7, 236 596 already spent; 168 workers employed; 73% local labour employed; 24% women employed; 33% young people employed; 2% disabled employed. 7 local contractors who tendered were awarded the project work and undertook construction work and renovations.
The Phase 1 project entailed the renovation of eight schools within the Ledig Community and focused on the interior of classrooms, administration and office buildings, computer laboratories and toilets with a key emphasis to ensure a conducive learning environment. The total impact of the project covered about 4271 learners and 140 educators.
CASE STUDY 2: The spirit of good corporate citizenship...
Corporate citizenship is about the contribution a company makes to society through its core business activities, its social investment and philanthropy programmes and its engagement in communities and other stakeholders. It’s about looking at the bigger picture for the benefit of all involved, it´s about being willing to go above and beyond, making the right decisions that make a real difference.
In 2007, after Wesizwe conducted a 3D Geoseismic Survey as part of its exploration activities, some Ledig residents complained that cracks appeared on their houses because of the survey. Ledig community which is part of the Bakubung-Ba-Ratheo, is mostly rural in nature and has an estimated total population of about 30 000 people. The Bakubung-Ba-Ratheo traditional council serves as the main representative for the Ledig community in stakeholder discussions. At the wake of these complaints, there was non-alignment by the concerned parties in terms of the cracks. Inspections and assessments were then conducted by Wesizwe, Bakubung Ba-Ratheo Traditional Council, Local Municipality Councillors and Department of Mineral Resources to establish what caused the cracks. Two independent studies were conducted at different times to establish the cause of the cracks. The initial assessment done by a Wesizwe procured service provider which revealed that Wesizwe was not responsible for the damages, the findings were rejected by the community member. Following several consultations with DMR, DMR then appointed an inspector to conduct another assessment. The findings of the DMR assessment agreed with the initial one. The final conclusion from the assessments and inspections revealed that the cause of the cracks cannot be blamed on the seismic survey. In all the houses it was found that the cracks were due to poor structure and workmanship implying that the nature of the complaints could not be linked to prospecting activities. Feedback was communicated to all stakeholders with the DMR present. This was not well received by the complainants. Despite this the community members remained persistent that Wesizwe was at fault.
After much deliberation with all stakeholders, DMR requested Wesizwe to consider repairing the houses without acknowledging responsibility, as a sign of goodwill and in the spirit of good corporate practice. The total number of houses to be repaired was 14, and working with homeowners, a task team was appointed and a local building contractor appointed following a tender process to repair the houses. A Wesizwe EPCM contractor managed the project on behalf of Wesizwe. The repairs were completed successfully with 4 of the 14 houses re built due to the state of the houses and two other houses needed new roofing which was not part of the initial costing. All homeowners entered into agreements with Wesizwe prior to project execution and signed release forms that they were satisfied with the work post completion. The total cost of the project amounted to R1,632,443.00.
Local Economic Development
Enterprise development is the foundation on which a thriving and sustainable local economy will be built to last long after the mine has closed. As such, supporting local emerging enterprises to the point where they can usefully provide the goods and services required by Wesizwe for the construction of a mine, as well as to the local community, is a key focus area for the management team. A recently concluded audit of the vendors on Wesizwe Platinum’s database highlighted a need for training to build the business capacity in local small and medium enterprises and to this end, Wesizwe has developed a supplier development strategy. Part of this strategy includes making sure that contractors working with the Company in large scale mine development identify work packages that can be set aside for small and medium enterprises.
The Company’s SLP defines specific targets for the participation of local SMMEs in mine development through smaller work packages which form part of the larger EPCM contract. All contractors have been presented with the Wesizwe Platinum SLP targets and they have to demonstrate, as part of the tender process, how they intend involving local SMMEs and how they will recruit local labour.
CASE STUDY 3 - Water supply infrastructure in Ledig, Mahobieskraal & Matooster
The accelerated plan calls for the construction of a reservoir. However, as an interim solution, Wesizwe provides water to the community of around 15000 residents through 34 Wesizwe tanks which are located in various locations or sections within Ledig and Mohobieskraal communities. The tanks are each filled twice on a daily basis, seven days per week. The water tank sizes range from 5000 to 10 000 litres each - all have a total capacity of 260 000 litres).
This water supply initiative serves as an interim solution to the current water challenges within the area, whilst awaiting implementation of the project. Engagement with Moses Kotane Municipality for a long-term plan to build a new reservoir in order to ensure sustainable water supply in communities is in progress. This is a tripartite partnership between Wesizwe, Maseve and Moses Kotane Local Municipality where all parties will financially contribute equally towards the infrastructure, and the project will be managed by Wesizwe.
CASE STUDY 4 - Bakubung Agricultural Project
Wesizwe purchased a farm for R10.8m in November 2011 to provide alternative grazing land for local farmers who are affected by the Bakubung Platinum Mine operation. Nine Ledig cattle farmers have since moved their livestock to the farm. The farmers currently utilise the farm dipping infrastructure and are also supported with medicines for cattle vaccinations. Wesizwe has established partnerships with Moses Kotane Local Municipality State Vet and the Rustenburg Local Municipality´s Departments of Agriculture to support the farmers and their livestock.
A feasibility study is currently underway by an independent specialist service provider to determine project activities for the farm. The report from this feasibility study will design an integrated agricultural business plan that will outline the project activities that will offer a wide range of agricultural and employment opportunities to the communities of Ledig and Phatsima.
Wesizwe has a significant role to play in local economic development, job creation and skills development as it embarks on mine construction with the aim of establishing a mine which is producing at full capacity within the next ten years. There is an expectation and a responsibility for Wesizwe Platinum to ensure that the local community benefits from the mine. As such, there was a need to conduct a skills audit in the community to determine the collective base of skills, competence and knowledge. Over 2 000 people were assessed in five weeks and this information has been captured in a skills database.
The data collected in the audit has already proved invaluable with the recruitment of local skilled labour and in guiding a skills development programme to address the scarcity of skills and the lack of capacity in the current potential labour force.
Community members visit the various exhibition stands at the Wesizwe Open Day to learn more about the company and the opportunities that it will offer to the community during mine development and beyond.
|Speech for Mr Gao at the School Handover Ceremony||[41.3KB]|