Reflections on our year – 2021

Note: Images used here are from DRDGOLD’s archive and pre-date the onset of COVID-19.


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International Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise Day
– 27 June

Small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) account for over 90% of all businesses and around 70% of jobs worldwide. Today, on International SMME Day, we acknowledge both the responsibility bigger businesses such as ours have in supporting SMMEs through procurement of goods and services, and the vital role they play in developing economies such as South Africa’s. In such economies, it is estimated that up to 40% of total national income is generated by SMMEs.

We are proud to showcase on this international day of recognition, our relationship with just one such business. The Geluksdal Youth Forum, a small/medium-sized enterprise contracted by us since 2016 to help us vegetate our Brakpan tailings storage facility (TSF). The forum employs a total of 15 men and women whose job it is to grow, plant and manage indigenous trees along the TSF as part of our dust containment initiatives.

All 15 people employed in the enterprise – a manager, supervisor, co-ordinator, driver and 11 grower/planters – are drawn from Geluksdal, one of the “gate” communities of our Ergo operation in Ekurhuleni. During our association, the team has learned the skills and developed the experience needed to nuture the trees from seedlings to adulthood. Within their tree nursery environment, they also grow vegetables for their own use.

The Geluksdal Youth Forum tree-growing team, based at their nursery virtually “on the spot”, near the Brakpan tailings storage facility where the indigenous trees they grow help prevent dust pollution


At DRDGOLD, we believe that youth empowerment begins with education, and is enhanced by opportunity. We aim to bring both to the young people in our communities.

  • Supplementary teaching

    3 key subjects taught at 7 chosen schools

  • Funding educational journeys

    R1.2 million spent to fully-fund 13 bursars in 2021

  • Growing skilled artisans

    725 learnerships offered since inception

    In 2021, 60 learners currently engaged

Download our Youth Day 2021 note »

DRDGOLD concurs, food safety is everyone’s business. We all have a moral obligation, of course, to help ensure that people do not go hungry. Also, what hope is there for any kind of human enterprise, for countries’ economies to survive – particularly in the face of COVID-19 – if stomachs are empty?

DRDGOLD, for some years now, has partnered with Umsizi Sustainable Social Solutions in the implementation of the Broad-Based Livelihoods (BBL) programme in DRDGOLD’s host communities.

The BBL programme currently reaches more than 4 000 people, one way or another, teaching them how to use their own yards and any other land legally available to them to grow food – in the first instance to feed themselves, and then to produce a surplus they can sell in their communities to generate an income.

A recent BBL development is the teaching of food preservation skills. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 600 million people fall ill and 420 000 die every year from eating contaminated food. Properly preserved food prevents illness and death, and – importantly –
reduces food wastage.



For DRDGOLD, World Environment Day 2021 is an opportunity to reflect on what is being regained in our natural world, and to contemplate the essence of our company and its role in the mining sector. The World Environment Day 2021 theme of Reimagine Recreate Restore resonates so closely with our purpose that we are compelled to reflect on what we do and how we contribute to each of these ideals.

Download our Environment Day 2021 brief »