In FY2021, R48.9 million was spent on socio-economic development, including youth education programmes, the Broad-Based Livelihoods Programme and Merafong / Soweto / Ekurhuleni (MSE) initiative delivering COVID-19 relief to communities
Our business model would not be complete, and perhaps not even worth pursuing, in the absence of social relevance. Large parts of our operations are situated in urban areas. In addition, most of the communities that live near our facilities are in the grip of poverty and socio-economic stress.
Our social value-add is thus focused on the realities faced by these communities and aims to alleviate poverty and provide educational opportunities to the youth.
Our initiatives to contain the impact of our operations on the environment, in particular the removal of mine dumps and the containment of dust and effluent, clearly overlap with this objective. Poverty alleviation and self-empowerment takes place through our very successful alliance with Umsizi Sustainable Social Solutions (Umsizi), which has assisted us in rolling out the Broad-based Livelihoods Programme in the Ekurhuleni, City of Johannesburg and Merafong communities. The programme has empowered around 4 500 participants with skills and infrastructure to produce healthy food, generate an income, grow a business and trade in the market.
We engage with various schools in our areas of influence to set up programmes aimed at upskilling our youth, to empower them to make an active contribution to our economy. We have two high school teachers in our employ, who provide extra classes in mathematics, science and accountancy to high school pupils at seven schools within our area of influence. These schools are mostly under-resourced and many pupils live in circumstances that are less than ideal. Over the years, thousands of pupils have taken advantage of this opportunity and this year, two former pupils who attended these classes have enrolled for BCom degrees at the University of Johannesburg and the University of the Free State respectively, as part of our bursary programme.