Anglo American Platinum, community development trusts and communities reflect on excellent progress made by Alchemy
Focus remains on building the right partnerships and meaningful engagement for positive community impact as core functions of Alchemy
Alchemy, Anglo American Platinum’s community empowerment initiative recently held a reflection day where around one hundred development partners, representatives of community development trusts, non-profit organisations, community leaders and Alchemy management discussed progress and partnerships for integrated and collaborative community development.
Representatives agreed that community development must continue to prioritise input from all parties involved to ensure projects are relevant and remain sustainable long after mining activities have ceased. It was agreed that learnings and best practice must be broadly shared going ahead, and that these must inform the development planning and outreach activities of the development trusts.
Since the inception of Alchemy by Anglo American Platinum, through a broad-based economic empowerment ownership transaction in 2011, the communities have been engaged to identify the most pressing development challenges and the optimal role that the Trusts should play toward the vision of ‘Sustainable Communities, Through and Beyond Mining’. Collaborative development partnerships are key to realising thriving communities!
With regard to the Alchemy trusts, the Dikuno Tsa Sechaba Development Trust has taken on challenges in health and education by building a R18million school in cooperation with the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Development Trust, the tribal authority and the Department of Education.
The Rustenburg Community Development Trust is involved in a partnership with Sibanye Stillwater and the Royal Bafokeng Nation to develop the R42million Mfidikwe water and sanitation project.
The Ditholwana Tsa Rena Trust partnered with the Department of Correctional Services to build a library for blind and partially sighted learners at the Siloe School for the blind, and Bohwa Bja Rena continues with development-related engagement with local leadership.
Zenzele Itereleng NPC, working through Grace Vision, purchased an equipped mobile vision screen truck to reach the vulnerable and address this pervasive challenge in the rural Eastern Cape. The NPC is well positioned to respond to the needs of the ‘hard-to-reach’ Labour Sending Areas in the Eastern Cape, Lesotho and Mozambique and welcomes partnerships to expand positive impact.
All Alchemy Trusts are moving steadily along a path of organisational development, making them more robust and relevant.
Three Community Trustees have joined the Board of Dikuno Tsa Sechaba following an inclusive and transparent selection process. They are now actively involved in Dikuno’s planning and development activities. The Rustenburg CDT has embarked on the Community Trustee selection process, and Bohwa Tsa Rena and Ditholwana Tsa Rena will be launching their selection drives shortly.
Alchemy seeks to establish and empower independent community development trusts with their own funding, stimulating and partnering with other development stakeholders in a specific area to encourage local development. Commenting on the collaborative nature of Alchemy, involved parties such as Tim Hart, corporate consultant at SRK Consulting (SA), said that the Trusts are having important discussions about partnerships. “The trusts are becoming more successful at working with other development stakeholders, as they are encouraged to work as development agents with everybody in the region, including local government, local companies and civil society and other mining companies. A good example is the partnership involving Sibanye and the Royal Bafokeng in Rustenburg, where the parties have teamed up to work on a water and sanitation infrastructure project”.
Similarly, Nana Magomola, Chairperson of the Lefa La Rona Trust, commented on the significant progress that has been made since the last meeting in 2013, “Four years later we are no longer just talking about partners, but we can now show how we can work together to realise the vision of Alchemy.”
Chris Griffith, CEO of Anglo American Platinum, said collaboration and partnerships are at the core of Anglo American Platinum’s plans to bring long term and sustainable development opportunities into the region around its operations. Alchemy is an example of how Anglo American Platinum has been prioritising a holistic approach to business since 2011 and ties into the more formal adoption of the Anglo American Sustainability Strategy.
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