In the spirit of Ubuntu, Mbuyelo never forgets to look back and see how we can contribute to the improvement of our beautiful country, South Africa- especially the communities which are affected directly or indirectly by our business. As Mr Rirhandzu Owner Siweya, Mbuyelo Group CEO, likes to put it, it is understandable that corporate social responsibility is regulatory in terms of the MPRDA(Mineral….), but the Mbuyelo culture is such that reinvesting in the communities we operate in, is second nature which is informed by a natural empathy and understanding of our social ills. The Mbuyelo DNA, i.e. owners and employees alike were all born from these very communities.
In the past, we have done our utmost to be involved with the communities surrounding our operations. Meetings with community members have assisted in conducting a comprehensive needs analysis to make sure that the glaring gaps are given the necessary attention.
The community closest to the mine, that is, the people of Swartklip, have been working intimately with Manungu Colliery on the upliftment of its social ills. The Maths & Science Camp is one of the first projects Mbuyelo has been a part of as a means to assist the community in its development. Just like in the Swartklip community mentioned above, Manungu constructed a creche dining hall whilst repairing toilets and doors of the said creche of the Thema community. Also done for the Thema community was the painting of the creche play area, and the donation of blankets to an estimated eighty (80) children.
For the community of Botleng, we took on projects such as the donation of computers and a printer; and alongside that, the installation of burglar bars to protect this well-meant investment. We went further with the construction of a school hall; but our biggest highlight, is the clinic upgrade project. This clinic will touch many lives as it improves healthcare services in the area, thus giving them the gift of a longer and more fulfilling lifespan. Contributions to the community that are sustainable are our ideal objective, so projects such as the purchase of a mobile kitchen unit and freezers, and the purchase of an embroidery machine are just as meaningful as a direct donation of scientific calculators- as we did for the students of Phaphamani Secondary School.
2018 had Mbuyelo Coal, under its mine, Welgemeend Colliery, investing in projects such as building a house for an orphaned family and acquiring school desks and chairs for a local school in Kromkans. In Carolina and Hendrina, Mbuyelo assisted with donations of school uniform, and just because we understand the need for communication and harmony amongst people living and working together, we made further provision in our budget for a future development of a Community Centre for the Carolina community. These are only a handful of Socio Economic Development projects Mbuyelo has been working on, ranging from initial stages- to some projects already complete!
As far as Enterprise Development is concerned, numerous tenders have been offered to the local community ranging from a coal transportation tender from the Mine Plant to Carolina siding; a road construction tender; a fencing of mine property tender; laundry services tender; a coal haulage from mining pits to plant tender, all the way to offering support to a local business idea such as a car wash.
The biggest venture so far that Mbuyelo’s Vlakvarkfontein Colliery is busy with, is the Housing Project. Equally big, is the Township Establishment Project alongside the Housing Project, on the land belonging to Vlakvarkfontein. The latter project is intended to be donated to the Arbor Community through the Victor Khanye Municipality as an extension of our social responsibility.
Mbuyelo supplies the 479 families of the Arbor community with coal for household use. We have also donated mobile containers, laptops and school chairs. We went further to donate ten 5 thousand litres of Jojo tanks to the community. It is important to note, that the Arbor community was less than a quarter of what it is currently, but we continued to support the families, despite the influx of people coming to illegally settle within our farm boundary post the commencement of the mining operations. And just when you think we would stop there, Vlakvarkfontein Colliery went further and opened an Abused Women and Rape Victims Support Centre at the Ogies South African Police Station.
Enterprise development is not left behind. Support is being given to an initiative started by community members to teach women to sew as a means to empower the mbokodo’s (powerful women) of Arbor. Closing the gap by empowering women through education and skills development, advances not just the communities, but our country as a whole.
The bishop, Desmond Tutu tried to break down the concept of Ubuntu, he said “Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language. It speaks of the very essence of being human…you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, ‘My humanity is inextricably bound up in yours.’ We belong in a bundle of life.”
The family of Mbuyelo will always look to “we” when it takes strides to grow and develop itself (“me”). We always look to forming relationships with our affected communities so we can all grow as one.
Donation of computer lab –
A park for the community