So. Africa: Mining giant’s executive vows to ensure mining has long-term socio-economic benefits for communities

Author: News 24 (South Africa) , Published on: 26 November 2019

‘Andile Sangqu: Mining must leave no community behind’ 24 November 2019

As a child of a mineworker – and having spent time in the mining town of Klerksdorp and the Eastern Cape, a significant labour-sending region for South Africa’s mining industry – I know first-hand the effects that mining has on communities in South Africa. We all know the stories of mining towns that once were the economic heartbeats of their communities, and today are shadows of their former selves, with limited opportunities for a better tomorrow. As South Africa’s largest and oldest mining company, Anglo American has had to ask this question: How we can help to change this story?

How do we practically demonstrate our deep and long-standing commitment to addressing some of the country’s most intractable challenges? How do we re-imagine mining, beyond the extraction of minerals from the earth, to a significant consideration of the communities that host our operations? These are the questions that keep us awake at night. They go to the very core of our business. Over the past 100 years, we have had a front-row seat to the changing nature of the challenges and the opportunities of the industry. We have seen the demands and expectations of society change around how we address the critical challenges of safety, productivity, and the way we use land, energy, and water. The most significant shift has undoubtedly been in the expectations society has from us in contributing to the socio-economic development of our people, our communities, and the entire country.

…The Impact Catalyst is based on our belief that as a company that is deeply rooted in South Africa, we can make a significant contribution to South Africa’s social, environmental, and economic development. It gives us a chance to be directly involved in charting a new path for the future of mining host communities and regions. We do not have all the solutions, but we are ready to get our hands dirty. This is why we’re working in partnership to make this a reality. It is still early days, but we have a chance to work towards the long-term socio-economic development of Limpopo, together with our partners – and with the communities whose lives will be affected. Our success will ultimately be built on collaborations and partnerships between many obvious and not-so-obvious partners, and we look forward to the work that remains to be done because we firmly believe that we have the power to shape our future together.

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Related companies: Anglo American Exxaro