Local Businesses Set To Soar After Employee Upskilling Programme

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The future is bright for two small businesses from Postmasburg, after 40 of their employees received technical skills training that will significantly enhance their ability execute complex Anglo American projects that they are contracted to and improve their prospects to ultimately acquire new business within and outside the mining industry.


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The two businesses currently have contracts to perform construction and civil works at the Kapstevel South Project, a new pit and infrastructure development project at Kumba Iron Ore’s Kolomela operations. Their newly-certified workforces will improve their prospects of securing further work and attract talent, while the individuals themselves are now better placed to further their careers in the construction industry.

The training was part of a pilot project by Anglo American’s enterprise development arm, Zimele, in collaboration with Kumba Iron Ore’s Kapstevel South Project team and Tjeka, a private Further Education and Training institution, to build skills and capacity in local businesses. Anglo American Zimele is about creating sustainability in business. It is focused on building sustainable livelihoods in Anglo American’s host communities and on strengthening relationships to create synergies within Anglo American and with broader mining industry partners.

The 40 individuals were trained in the areas of manhole construction, painting, paving, and plumbing, for which they have now received NQF 2 (manhole construction and plumbing) and NQF 3 (paving and painting) certifications.

Lesiba Malema, owner of Smart Valve, had 15 employees participating in the programme. “The value in the training for us was that it integrated painting, paving with plumbing, which is Smart Valve’s area of specialisation,” said Malema, who participated in the training as a plumber.

An earlier training project with Tjeka saw managers, supervisors and key technical staff for suppliers get the skills they needed to deal with complex technical issues related to their construction projects.

“By giving local people skills, we’re ensuring that our operations in the area directly contribute to the growth and sustainability of the community,” said Janus van Zyl, Assistant Project Manager for the Kapstevel South Project.

Anglo American Zimele’s focus is on building sustainable livelihoods in the company’s host communities. It also offers a loan funding programme and helps create market linkages for enterprises participating in its enterprise, supplier and youth development programmes. It helped facilitate around R2.8 billion worth of contracts and purchase orders in 2022 alone, bringing the total since 2018 to R6.11 billion to SMMEs from around Anglo American’s host communities in Limpopo, North West and Northern Cape.

Zimele’s technical enablement programme runs alongside its three main coaching and mentorship programmes:

  • Enterprise development, through greater mentorship and by increasing the pace of economic development around Anglo American’s operations;
  • Supplier development, by leveraging Anglo American’s existing inclusive procurement spend and by helping host community suppliers access new markets; and
  • Youth development, through training for relevant skills that make economic opportunities more accessible for young people in host communities.

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