LIMPOPO – Anglo American Platinum said the company and Komatsu, the Japanese manufacturer of construction, mining and industrial equipment, have signed a memorandum of understanding to partner in jointly designing, building and funding an ICT center, internet cafe and mechanical hub in Ga-Molekana village.
This project is one of five multi million Rand projects that were identified by the Mapela Faith Group to bring about peace and unity in the Mapela Community.
The Ga-Molekana faith leaders are in the fore front of ensuring that this project becomes a reality for the Ga-Molekana and neighbouring communities.
Seara Mkhabela, Executive Head of Corporate Affairs at Anglo American Platinum said in a media statement:
“This project is an investment into the future of the community, and presents a significant opportunity for digital access and enterprise development. It is important for industry to serve the needs of communities where they operate, and ensure long-term, sustainable development which empowers members of the community.”
According to Mkhablea the project forms part of Anglo American’s continued focused on Future Smart Mining TM, an innovation-led approach to sustainable mining.
“This includes being an active corporate citizen on issues relevant to stakeholders. The company’s focus is on shared value; finding shared solutions that will unlock value not only across the company’s operations but across the entire mining value chain.”
Mkhabela said providing the community members access to training and skills developments is in line with Anglo American Platinum’s sustainability goals.
“In addition to providing funding for the project, Anglo American Platinum will assist with identifying suitable learners, schools and youth from Mapela to participate in the project after they have received appropriate training and entrepreneurial skills.”
He added: “We are very proud to partner with Komatsu on this project. Collaborative Regional Development is at the heart of how we aim to bring long-term development opportunities to the regions around our operations. Through identifying the socio-economic development opportunities of greatest potential in a province, and then facilitating partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders, we hope to create the foundations for long-term sustainable development in the areas in which we operate that extend well beyond the life of the mine.”
Mike Blom, Managing Director for Komatsu South Africa said “We recognize that transformation initiatives remain necessary to ensure sustainable development and upliftment of the communities where we do business.
Anglo American Platinum has always been one of our key business partners and we are extremely proud to be collaborating with them in this project.”
Blom said the companies will jointly support, train and fund the early operations of the project, in the first 6 to twelve months to ensure sustainability, and the KSAF Transformation Trust, representing Komatsu, will continue providing a grant to support the mechanical hub for at least two more years.
Pastor Cheadley of Mapela Faith Group said the role that interfaith groups can play in community development is important.
“As faith leaders we can be at the centre of the community development discourse and practice as we are naturally grounded in the communities.
“We promote ethical practices and our focus is on vulnerable members of the community. For us this is an opportunity to bring together our communities and mining corporate to understand and work with each other better.”
According to Cheadley will this project give back to the community through not only providing access to internet resources but also to ICT training, and equipping community members with powerful tools.
“This will lead to opportunities to advance development and offer communities and enterprises access to the digital world.
“The mechanical hub will provide access to mechanical infrastructure, tooling and support services to community members, and will also be used to train the youth in mechanics, promote entrepreneurship and enterprise development by facilitating and influencing businesses and suppliers to procure services from the mechanics.”
Cheadley said as the project is led by the Faith Group, there will also be a food bank in the center where people can donate food and other necessities that will then be distributed to orphans and vulnerable children in the area.