The group’s impact extends well beyond its direct employees and into the communities where it operates. In Zimbabwe it has been estimated that, for every employee, as many as ten others derive benefit from Mwana’s operations; a total of more than 30,000 people.
Preference during recruitment is given to the local community, especially for unskilled and semi-skilled positions. For the last financial year, on Klipspringer Mine in South Africa, 52% of the workforce was recruited from the immediate community, and a further 41% from within the province. With the exception of senior expatriate management, all staff in our exploration operations are drawn from the immediate communities. At Freda Rebecca Mine in Zimbabwe 94% of the workforce is from the local town of Bindura.
At Klipspringer and Freda Rebecca Mines, 31% and 23% respectively of total procurement expenditure was sourced from local/provincial suppliers. Several small business enterprises have been established or assisted by Freda Rebecca to provide services to the Mine and the Mine villages, and to encourage entrepreneurial ventures. The mines and exploration projects assist with infrastructure support such as the refurbishment of schools, upgrade of roads, and the construction of small bridges.
Where operations interact with artisanal gold miners, the company has undertaken studies to better understand the issues of and challenges faced by these populations. This is as a prelude to formulating a strategy to manage future interactions with the aim to improve these miners working conditions. At Zani, PACT, and America NGO, is assisting Mwana with this process.
Freda Rebecca Mine has developed a partnership with the Italian NGO Terre des Hommes to improve the educational facilities at the local village’s crèche. This NGO aims to uplift vulnerable children through the full provision of school fees for a child’s educational career. It is hoped that this partnership can be extended to the local primary schools in the Bindura area. Both BNC and Freda Rebecca Mine assist local scholars to complete their tertiary education by providing them with 6 month vocational placements. Freda Rebecca Mine is also sponsoring 4 students through their degrees at the School of Mines. BNC provides on-site primary school education, funds secondary schooling and grants a number of scholarships to higher education institutions for employees’ children.
The Social and Labour Plan recently formulated for Klipspringer Mine commits the company to a 5 year plan of staff career development targets through Adult Basic Education (ABET), in–house core skills training, learnerships, and bursaries. One bursary will be offered to a community member in 2012/3.