Media releases

DRDGOLD, Impophomo, Umsizi launch COVID-19 relief initiative, targeting community members most in need in Merafong, Ekurhuleni, Soweto and surrounds

16 April 2020

Johannesburg, South Africa. 16 April 2020. Witwatersrand-based gold surface retreatment company DRDGOLD Limited (DRDGOLD), Impophomo Rushing Waters (Impophomo), and Umsizi Sustainable Social Solutions (Umsizi) have launched an initiative to bring relief in the face of COVID-19 to community members most in need in Merafong, Ekurhuleni and Soweto and surrounds in Johannesburg.

The MSE (Merafong, Soweto, Ekurhuleni) Initiative has its origins in DRDGOLD’s well-established Broad-based Livelihoods Programme. Managed by Umsizi for DRDGOLD, this programme helps thousands of vulnerable people living within DRDGOLD’s operating footprints to use land and immediate opportunities available to them – sometimes just their household yards – to grow healthy food, to generate income, to undertake productive self-employment activities and to run businesses.

Says DRDGOLD CEO Niël Pretorius: “DRDGOLD’s experience of the Broad-based Livelihoods Programme helped bring sharply into focus the increased plight of those most in need in our host communities at this time of national and global crisis.

“We felt, by directing our support to people in these communities desperate for life’s basics at this time – food, hygiene products and clothing – we could have the most meaningful impact, and both Umsizi and Impophomo, in terms of their experience, were best positioned to help us.

“The first phase will be to provide immediate and ongoing material care and emergency relief support to the most distressed households in vulnerable communities, and also to help them prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. The second phase will focus on repairing the adverse socio-economic impacts of the crisis through increasing community resilience by means of empowering thousands of households through our Broad-Based Livelihoods Programme.

Other companies “particularly within the footprint” welcome to join

“While DRDGOLD has provided foundation funding for the MSE Initiative, we would welcome other companies – in particular those that share our operating footprints – to join us and lend their support.

“The initiative needs additional financial, material and human resources. There is only so much the founding partners in this initiative can do alone, but with others, we can increase the scale and impact of this relief effort.”

Companies interested in participating in The MSE Initiative can contact:


Telephone: +27 11 791 2157

Impophomo – a non-governmental organisation (NGO; registration number 090-889) skilled in implementing broad-based, equitable and effective social welfare programmes that focus on socio-economic and livelihoods development in the poorest and most vulnerable communities – is responsible for the co-ordination of and logistics related to The MSE Initiative.

Umsizi, which specialises in the development and implementation of socio-economic programmes for companies, is contributing to Impophomo’s running costs for The MSE initiative.

In Merafong, The MSE Initiative’s target communities include Carletonville, Khutsong, and informal settlements close to DRDGOLD’s Far West Gold Recoveries operation.

In Johannesburg, Soweto and surrounds, they include Riverlea, Meadowlands, Diepkloof, Dobsonville, Snakepark, Emdeni, Moletsane, Braamfisher, Tshepisong and Doornkop.

In Ekurhuleni, they include Kwa Thema, Langaville, Geluksdal, Tsakane, Mkhanqwa informal settlement, Reedville and the Knights informal settlements.

Queries relating to this media release:

James Duncan
R&A Strategic Communications
Telephone: +27 79 336 4010