The Enterprise and Supplier Development Department of the Platreef Project identified a need in its host communities to support commercial opportunities for people living with disabilities. The Project team partnered with leading skills and enterprise development specialists and local civic organizations, including: People Living with Disabilities in Business (LIPDIB); DRA Global Engineering; and Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).
The objective of these partnerships is to equip people living with disabilities, in Platreef’s host communities, with the necessary skills to access employment and economic opportunities within the local mining value chain and beyond.
The participants were given laptops and tablets to access online opportunities and tender platforms. The programme ran continuously over the 2018-2019 calendar year and also involved several accredited training interventions which the beneficiaries all completed successfully, including:
One of the selection criteria for the participants was that they should already be involved in business. This proved to be a key success factor in the program as the participants reported that they were able to apply the knowledge gained from the training to real-life situations in their own businesses.
One of the participants, Mr. Jack Masenya from Ga-Magongoa community in Mokopane is a successful business man who owns a restaurant and farm in the area. Mr. Masenya was employed as a mining load and haul operator at another mine in 2014 when he had a serious car accident that left him with brain and spinal cord injuries, and memory loss. Once Mr. Masenya was discharged from hospital and started to adjust to life in a wheel chair, he decided to start a small restaurant in a semi-urban community in Mokopane to help him regain his memory and strengthen his cognitive recovery.
Mr. Masenya was so successful in his endeavour that he was able to employ six permanent workers and several casual workers within three years. He also bought a farm, started a hatchery with lay hens, and established a cattle herd that he is focused on developing into a feedlot.
Already a successful business man, in spite of personal challenges, he found the entrepreneurial development training, facilitated by the Platreef team, immensely beneficial. He says that throughout his life, he had to learn how to adapt from point A to point B very quickly, and views the business training he received as tools equipping him to adapt and grow his business more efficiently. He especially found the training in financial and staff management systems helpful in improving the management of his businesses.
His goals are to become a significant supplier of red meat in the area and keep expanding his business. One day, he’d like to return to the mining industry as a skills development contractor, training young people to become load and haul operators, and make a positive impact on the lives of others.
In November 2019, Ivanplats (Ivanhoe Mines’ South African subsidiary) and Aurecon were awarded the IAP2 (International Association for Public Participation) Members at Large Project of the Year at the 2019 Core Values Awards for the Bonega Communities Trust project.
As part of its community outreach, Ivanplats established an umbrella trust called the Bonega Communities Trust aimed at promoting community projects and development in partnership with twenty surrounding communities. The Trust is a registered non-profit organization and is governed by an independently elected Advisory Council and Board of Trustees.
In 2018, Ivanplats appointed Aurecon’s Communication and Stakeholder Engagement team to determine how best to consult with communities and the most affected individuals, in order to identify projects that will result in community initiatives and sustainable development. The year-long project included over 60 focus group meetings held in 20 communities, 8,000 surveys, as well as workshops and committee meetings.
In July 2019, Ivanplats, Ivanhoe Mines’ South African subsidiary, in partnership with Aveng Moolmans, held a science competition for high school students to promote environmental awareness and education around proper waste management.
Nineteen high schools from around Ivanhoe Mines’ Platreef Project participated in the competition, with each school entering multiple teams of up to five students. The teams were required to come up with a solution to an environmental waste management problem, such as littering, the use of landfills, and discarding toxic waste. The teams presented their ideas and prototypes to a panel of judges consisting of officials from the Department of Mineral Resources, Department of Environmental Affairs, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Water and Sanitation. The winning team was awarded a prize package that included tablets and R15,000 for their school.
Ivanhoe Mines is proud to work collectively with teachers and schools near our mining projects to promote environmental education.
Ivanplats, Ivanhoe Mines’ South African subsidiary, recently handed out school supplies and uniforms to scholarship recipients. Ivanplats awards scholarships to students living near the Platreef Project for their academic achievements. The scholarships cover tuition fees, uniforms and school supplies, and provide students with continuing access to quality education.
Ivanhoe Mines is funding an adult literacy program as part of its community support initiatives at the Kipushi Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The program is a partnership with Alfa Congo, a Kinshasa-based non-profit NGO dedicated to improving literacy levels among vulnerable social groups.
An unfortunate reality is that illiteracy can be a major stumbling block for many of the 150,000 people in Kipushi’s host communities seeking advancement opportunities. Literacy rates are substantially lower among females. International research indicates that changing this imbalance can benefit entire communities, as women more often transfer their acquired skills and knowledge to children.
Functional literacy training is offered at the village of Kipushi and at the nearby village of Mimbulu. The success of the structured reading and writing program has exceeded expectations, with more than 160 female participants now enrolled. A similar program also is offered at Ivanhoe Mines’ Kamoa-Kakula Project in the DRC.
Ivanplats, the Ivanhoe Mines subsidiary developing the Platreef discovery of platinum-group metals, nickel, copper and gold near the town of Mokopane, in South Africa’s Limpopo province, has taken an innovative step in establishing a digital, information-sharing system and making it freely accessible by residents of eight communities surrounding the site of the Platreef underground mine.
The initiative is known as Maru a Mokopane, which is Sepedi dialect for The Clouds of Mokopane. (Sepedi, commonly spoken in South Africa’s Northeast, is one of the country’s 11 official languages.)
Officially launched at a Youth Day celebration hosted by Ivanplants in Mokopane in June 2017 and attended by several thousand participants, Maru a Mokopane has three components:
Ivanplats Managing Director Dr. Patricia Makhesha, announcing the initiative, recalled how South Africa’s young people fought to gain knowledge and information during the 1976 Soweto uprising. She added: “Today, at Ivanplats we are embracing the fact that our youth remains at the core of our country’s liberation and one of the most important means to assist them in achieving success is access to information.”
Ivanplats is committed to provide the residents in its host communities with relevant information about the development of the Platreef Project, as well as bridging the digital divide to provide access to online information about education, employment and entrepreneurship.
The Maru a Mokopane web-based application may be accessed from all devices with a browser. It is a registration-based platform, ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of users and the company. Features include:
Kgoshi LV Kekana, the traditional leader of the Platreef Project’s host communities, welcomed the Maru a Mokopane initiative: "Today we celebrate the fact that our young people can be part of the digital world. I am happy that young people in my communities now have access to information through the Internet that can help them access important sources for their studies, search for jobs, bursaries and other opportunities. Knowledge is power and through the Maru a Mokopane portal my people are empowered".
Ivanplats, Ivanhoe’s South African subsidiary, has committed R160-million to its Social and Labour Plan over five years, from 2014-2019. The approved plan includes R67.2 million for the development of job skills among local residents and R87.7 million for local economic development projects. This allocation includes R26 million to build a multipurpose community center including a community skills development and training facility in the Mokopane area as part of Ivanhoe’s objective of helping to establish a roster of qualified, local candidates for jobs at the mine and its associated minerals processing plant.
The facility will be accredited by the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA). Within the first 18 months of its SLP, Ivanplats already has spent or committed more than R25-million on projects that have included:
Six schools were furnished with educational infrastructure, which included new science and computer laboratories vegetable gardens and educational equipment. Since 2015, various special projects were completed, including sanitation units in public open spaces, refurbishing the Lesedi community centre and installing rainwater harvesting units at indigent households.
Human resource and a community development at the Platreef Project is mandated by the project’s Social and Labour Plan (SLP). A SLP is a five year social and labour development plan regulated by the South African mineral legislation.
The Kamoa-Kakula Sustainable Livelihoods Project, established in 2012 by Ivanhoe Mines with the support of U.K.-based Eco-Livelihoods, is significantly contributing to the economic empowerment of people in 14 communities in the vicinity of Ivanhoe’s mine developments underway at Kamoa and Kakula, in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Resource-efficient agriculture is contributing to environmental conservation, enhanced and sustained agricultural production and ensuring that benefits reach the widest possible spectrum of the community.
Forested areas previously degraded by unsustainable clearing are being rehabilitated with tree-planting activities and managed harvesting. Area farmers are being trained in market-gardening and irrigation techniques for year-round food production; solar-powered dryers are being used to prepare fruits and vegetables for storage.