Exxaro continues to make a positive impact in host communities, according to the Interim Results

Exxaro continues to place its host communities at the heart of its business decisions by investing in economic and social sustainability programmes.

Exxaro CEO-Designate and MD for Minerals, Dr Nombasa Tsengwa, says the company strives to be a positive force for social change and economic empowerment in the communities in which it operates. “Our success relies on active collaboration with stakeholders in our host communities and only together, can we transform our country for the better.”

“By investing in various community projects, social cohesion and enterprise and supplier development (ESD) initiatives, we hope to have sustainable impact that not only creates employment but improves the quality of life for our suppliers, employees and communities, as we begin our journey to a low carbon future.”

Exxaro’s social investment activities have continued to gain momentum over the last six months, following the disruption from Covid-19 lockdowns, with its primary focus on ESD, local procurement development of SMMEs and community infrastructure projects. These initiatives are an important foundation for adapting our stakeholders to a future which will demand resilience capabilities as we experience higher ambient temperatures and increasing strain on vulnerable communities.

Enterprise and Supplier Development

Local procurement spending stood at R458 million in the period under review with 9,8% of its procurement budget spent on 256 local black owned SMMEs. Exxaro provided ESD funding of R105 million to seven SMMEs, while also prioritising non-financial support, through a contractor development programme with the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and a financial excellence programme with SA Institute of Chartered Accountants Enterprise Development (SAICA-ED). The capability and competence provided to SMMEs through these programmes positions them well for future challenges and opportunities in an increasingly uncertain future. 

Community Development

Exxaro spent a total of R25 million on schools, building an enterprise and supplier development hub and water infrastructure projects through our Social and Labour Plans (SLP), in both Mpumalanga and the Waterberg. An estimated 1 446 community members will benefit from services to be provided from these projects and a total of 151 jobs were created during the construction period.

In its continuing efforts to protect livelihoods in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Exxaro has partnered with World Vision South Africa to assist 703 households with hygiene and food packs in Limpopo, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. This collaboration is an important marker for future sustainability – the challenges of today and in the future require a combination of resources and capabilities which no single entity can provide on its own. 

Covid-19 Support

To support the government vaccine drive, Exxaro has vaccinated 2 460 employees and contractors across age groups (35 years and above) as of 31 July and registered its Grootegeluk Complex and Matla Occupational Health Centres as accredited sites for vaccinations.

We established partnerships with provincial governments in Limpopo and Mpumalanga to drive vaccinations led by the respective MECs for health, under the auspices of the National Department of Health, once again proving the power of collaboration.

Safety

The past six months have continued Exxaro’s remarkable employee safety record, reaching the milestone of 53 months fatality free as at 02 August 2021. The company’s Zero Harm pledge remains a cornerstone for its strict safety standards that reinforce the importance of individual safety through education.

Conclusion

Dr Nombasa noted that the company’s community investments remained a priority even in the face of challenges such as the disruption to operations from lockdowns and protocol measures in response to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Sustainable development, in the face of climate and COVID19, has become more important for organisational success and the success of our country as a whole.”