Anglo American’s broad-based black economic empowerment coal producer, Anglo American Inyosi Coal (AAIC), has made an investment of R18 million in Sibongamandla Secondary School situated close to its Kriel mine in the Mpumalanga province.
The Social and Labour Plan (SLP) project, completed in partnership with the Mpumalanga Department of Education, was handed to the Department on Tuesday 24 March, and includes two science laboratories, a computer centre, library, a consumer studies facility and refurbished kitchen, and administrative and ablution facilities.
Themba Mkhwanazi, CEO of Anglo American’s coal business in South Africa and chairman of the AAIC board, described how the company had identified education as one of its focus areas in delivering sustainable value for the communities in and around its operations. Our focus on education is borne out of the realisation that the only way that South Africa will be competitive is when the majority of its citizens are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills. We believe that this partnership with government will go a long way in empowering this and future generations of learners at Kriel and surrounding areas,” Mkhwanazi said.
MEC for Education in Mpumalanga Reginah Mhaule said government and Anglo American were driven by the desire and determination to improve the potential of every citizen by ensuring that their right to basic education is fulfilled. “There cannot be any better way to display that determination than what has been done here at Sbongamandla. Indeed sibonga amandla we Anglo American and their partners for their visionary leadership and foresight that made this project of note to came to fruition. Today and through this infrastructure our children will be able to excel in Mathematics and Physical Science and be able to demystify the myth that these subjects are difficult,” Mhaule said.
Over the past five years, Anglo American’s coal business has spent R400 million on social investments in its host communities in Mpumalanga and the Free State provinces. A large percentage of this amount has been directed towards projects across the education spectrum, from early childhood development to adult education and training.
Work in this sector involves the upgrading of school buildings and infrastructure, focus on improving learner results in maths and science and the provision of bursaries for young people from underprivileged backgrounds as part of the company’s Community Scholarship Scheme.