In honour of Mandela Day this past weekend, black-empowered mining leader Exxaro, continued its unwavering commitment to supporting South African youths in need. One of the company’s core operations, Exxaro Coal Central (ECC), pulled out all the stops to ensure that the needs of our future leaders at Bonani Primary School and Lethithemba Drop-In Centre were catered for.
ECC, in partnership with their mining contractors Stefanutti Stocks and Kwena Mining Project donated kitchen appliances, a kitchen container and dignity packs to the school in Kriel. The mine ensured that the drop-in centre’s roof was replaced from asbestosis to a corrugated iron roof, while the pupils were equally treated to a few dignity packs. This was an educational event that had a positive, lasting impact on the minds of the youth. Gender-based violence (GBV) was the focus of the day, with male employees leading the conversations and discussing the prevalence of GBV in our society.
In his opening address, Dorstfontein West Complex Mining Manager, Chris Botha emphasised the importance of having these difficult conversations with our children, stating, “We only get one shot to shape the narrative of our children at an early age. We have to start having painful conversations, such as GBV, with our children right now, so they can make the correct and better choices for themselves in the future.”
Daniel Stapelberg, Business Unit Manager at ECC, continued, “Today was about affirming what Nelson Mandela once said: Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world. We want our children to know that they shouldn’t be burdened by poverty and abuse.”
“At ECC, we believe that our male counterparts should take responsibility and the lead to address GBV, in collaboration with their female colleagues. We need to work together and be diverse in our thinking to combat the situation,” Stapelberg added.
Socio-economic development and education have always been top priorities for Exxaro. As part of the organisation’s many socio-economic development initiatives, ECC recently donated various Covid-19 PPE products to 13 schools in its host communities. Each school received cloth masks, sanitisers, thermometers and surgical gloves to help combat the spread of the virus as students returned.
The mine used local suppliers to manufacture the cloth masks – two women and four men from disadvantaged backgrounds also benefitted from this project.
As a corporate citizen of South Africa, Exxaro will continue to do what it can to mitigate risk and power better lives across the country’s poverty-stricken communities and schools in need.