JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Global diversified major Anglo American will build 23 000 houses for its South African employees, convert remaining hostel accommodation to single-person occupancy by 2014 and openly discuss how the migrant labour system can be changed, outgoing CEO Cynthia Carroll
Carroll, who received prolonged applause after her address at the Gordon Institute of Business Science on building a better future for South Africa’s problem-beset mining sector, also acknowledged the need to discuss with employees, labour unions, host communities and labour sending areas how the migrant labour system can be changed to create more sustainable lives and communities.
“The mining industry of the past has left us with a housing legacy of which we cannot be proud. We cannot redress that legacy overnight, but we need to work with determination to achieve good housing conditions for all our employees,” said the Anglo American CEO, who will step down next year after a six-year term.
She also committed the company to redoubling its efforts to achieve zero harm, promote health in the workplace and in the broader community and make mining a positive force in the environment by
building on projects like the Emalahleni water purification plant, which provides thirty-million litres of clean drinking water a day into the local municipal reticulation system.
Technology development of fuel cells and clean coal can, Carroll says, make the South African mining industry a world leader in the battle against climate change.
She renewed Anglo American’s commitment to employment equity and the support of education and skills development in the broader community through support for further education and training colleges.
The power of mining will also be used to create jobs and every effort will be made to improve productivity.
Mining will be used to help create a robust economy beyond mining itself and beneficiation will be embraced in every instance of South Africa having a competitive advantage.
Nearly half of the 20 000 jobs and 31 business hubs Anglo American’s Zimele enterprise development fund has created have been for young people and 36% of the beneficiaries are women.
The company was beyond compliance of the 2014 Mining Charter targets for black economic-empowerment ownership and the Lefa La Rona project extends to key labour-sending areas.
Local procurement will support South African businesses, with a 1% increase in local procurement equating to a doubling in community social investment.