Thabazimbi mine demonstrates its right to mine through meaningful stakeholder engagements

THABAZIMBI – Kumba Iron Ore Thabazimbi Mine upholds the principles of optimum stakeholder engagement as a way of business towards a sustainable future. Demonstrating its commitment to its labour sending communities and valuing meaningful partnerships, the mine conducted its annual stakeholder day on 4 October 2013 in the Bioscope hall in Thabazimbi. The purpose of the day was to share information with all stakeholders about the state of the mine; safety, health, mining, environment, human resources, community development and procurement issues. In response to matters raised at last year’s stakeholder day, this year’s proceedings were punctuated by the mine’s Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox (SEAT) report. The SEAT report is a result of issues and impacts identified through extensive research conducted in the communities that surround the mine. The report covers, amongst others, stakeholder expectations for local employment, levels of localised procurement, public-private partnerships to address Thabazimbi’s ageing water infrastructure and the mine’s response to the concerns of possible closure.

The stakeholder day forms part of a critical conversation between NGOs, Local Government, CBOs, Sector Departments, Regulators and the General Public. This conversation is aimed at enabling the mine to operate and recover iron ore safely and profitably while contributing to the wellbeing of the communities where we operate. This is in keeping with best practice and principles of transparent business. While on-going concerns are raised and have to be addressed, our meaningful collaboration with key stakeholders affords us the opportunity to continually improve as a business and grow alongside the communities we serve. Equally so, a vote of confidence has been received for the good work that Kumba does in the community. This includes projects ranging from the upgrading of roads in Ipelegeng and Thabazimbi town to enterprise development, sustainable farming and bio-energy to maths, science and technology learner excellence and teacher development programs. An estimated R34, 579.409 marks Kumba’s spend for community based projects in 2013.

“We are a business with a conscious and our values guide us in showing care to the people we employ and those who have an impact on the mine. We believe in effective partnerships and we will maximise the value of our business by harnessing the wisdom of our stakeholders together with our expertise and experience to build a sustainable future”, Cornelia Holtzhausen, General Manager at Thabazimbi mine, remarked.

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Dr Sabelo Gumede (KIO Manager Safety and Sustainable Development), Peter Motlhabane (Thabazimbi Local Municipality: Tourism), Cornelius Booysen (TLM Manager Technical Services), Cornelia Holtzhausen (General Manager Thabazimbi mine), Jabu Mthombeni (Kumba: Seconded LED Practitioner) and Sibusiso Tenza (KIO Manager, Sustainable Development).

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The progress report of the mine was well received by the stakeholders present, which included Non Profit Organisations, different government departments, executive members of the local municipality, community members and other key stakeholders.