As our country continues to be greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Exxaro, one of South Africa’s largest black-empowered resource companies, has implemented community support initiatives to aid host communities in these difficult times.
Exxaro’s Grootegeluk mine – situated in Lephalale, realised the untold loss and devastation caused by the pandemic, continues to support its community members.
Ronaldt Mafoko, General Manager for Exxaro’s Grootegeluk Complex, explained why collaboration and support like this is key to effectively overcome COVID-19. “As the economic heartbeat for so many of the communities in which we operate in, Exxaro invests in the people it serves. That’s why we sought out sustainable collaboration opportunities in Lephalale to help give back to the community, particularly through recognising the socio-economic challenges they face and stepping in to help.”
At the end of last year, Grootegeluk donated 100 food parcels to the Lephalale Local Municipality’s Festive Season campaign in support of child-headed families, women, and the disabled in the community.
In addition to this, it also donated 10 two-fold beds to the Ellisras Hospital to assist with the sudden rise in COVID-19 hospital patient intake.
These contributions help in supporting the Lephalale community by addressing urgent needs first: through food support and helping to ensure that community members can receive medical attention at hospitals. The mines response to the effects of COVID-19 are tailored to the specific and most urgent needs of the Lephalale community, recognising the socio-economic environment of the town.
Mafoko continued, “Whether it’s collaboration between companies or collaboration between companies and government, finding ways to work together will improve outcomes for everyone. Now’s the time to combine strengths so that we can overcome our collective weaknesses.”
Indeed, businesses and government have an active role to play in the support of the community. They can go a long way in ensuring the health and safety of their employees, customers, clients, service providers, and other stakeholders.
Exxaro has also invested R7m in private testing labs in Limpopo and Mpumalanga to allow for the testing of Exxaro employees. It then extended its use to Seriti Coal Operations and Eskom in Lephalale for testing their employees, ensuring accessible access to COVID-19 testing facilities and helping curb the spread of the virus. Another testament to the power of collaboration.
If those with the means to help step in, South Africa has a better chance of not only overcoming the devastating effects of the pandemic, but also of creating a unified country, built on compassion, tolerance, and optimism for a brighter tomorrow.