Iron-ore miner gives back to the community

Industry News 2011-07-22 07:19:44
Sources :
Dated :   July 22, 2011
Iron-ore mining giant Kumba Iron Ore, a unit of global miner Anglo American, is involved in various social investment projects, with the main focus areas being education, skills development, enter- prise and entrepreneurial development, health and social development.These initiatives include the Batho Pele Mobile Health Unit, which entails fully equipped mobile units rendering medical services to the most rural communities in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district municipality, in the Northern Cape. The units include a fully equipped operating theatre, eye-testing equipment, dental services and a pharmacy, besides others.
“There is also the Kuruman business support centre, a walk-in centre assisting aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small business owners through various programmes to successfully run their businesses. The centre is an extension of the Anglo American Zimele small business hub that provides unsecure loan funding to start-up businesses. To date, 32 new businesses have been established through this partnership, together generating over R100-million in turnover,” says Kumba social and sustainable development manager Anel Marais .
Further, Kumba is involved in the Skeifontein hydroponic vegetable-farming project run by women, in the Northern Cape. The initiative received a pro- vincial agriculture award in August, as the best horticulture project.
Kumba says it spent about R134-million, in 2010, on its social investments projects.
“All our initiatives are implemented in partnership with our communities. At Kumba, we are focused on working with our communities. An example of this would be the Manyeding cultivation project. This project is located in one of the poorest rural areas near Kuruman. Initially conceived as a small-scale food garden project, it now involves 159 households who live on State-owned land and work collectively. Kumba is working with the local and the national government, with the latter keen to use this project as best practice for the roll-out of similar projects nationwide,” says Marais.
Meanwhile, Kumba believes it spends the most money on training for its mining personnel in the country. Training spend for 2010 amounted to R138-million, or 6.8% of the total wage bill. This amounts to R19 300 for each permanent employee or R11 240 an employee if contractors are included, says Kumba human resources executive head Virginia Tyobeka.
On average, each employee received 5.8 work days, or about 46 hours, of training during the year. A wide range of training is provided, catering for all employees from executive level through to administrative and support positions.
Of particular importance is the adult basic education and training (Abet) provided for employees. During 2010, 95 employees, 42 from the Sishen mine and 53 from the Thaba-zimbi mine, were enrolled in Kumba’s Abet programme. Portable skills training was provided for 175 employees, exceeding the year’s target of 144.
“As part of the Kolomela mine development, Kumba is constructing an additional 718 houses in Postmasburg. The housing development is in three areas, namely Airfield, Pensfontein and Boichoko. There are a total of 16 different housing designs that cater for the various employees on the mine,” says Kolomela GM Aart van den Brink.
Construction of the houses started in May 2010 and will be completed by July 2012. The houses will be handed over to the mine as they are completed and the first employees moved into their houses in February. The houses are of a high quality and superior architectural design. Energy saving features were taken into account in the design.
Meanwhile, the Kolomela project reports a new safety record, passing 12-million lost-time injury-free (LTIF) work hours at close of business on May 13.
Kolomela site project manager Floyd Botha says the company is proud of this ongoing achievement.
The project continues to better its own records. In August 2010, the project achieved five-million LTIF work hours, and in October 2010 it increased to seven-million LTIF work hours. In February, the project reached ten-million LTIF work hours, which increased to 11-million LTIF work hours in March, and is currently at 12-million LTIF work hours.
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