JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s big three platinum mining companies – Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin – appear to have made significant contributions to the Rustenberg area, in which they operate. But a new report by advisory firm, Eunomix, suggests more can be done to address the “underlying structural socio-economic problems” vexing the area.
According to the latest municipal data, compiled prior to the current bear market in commodities, mining contributed 68% to gross domestic product (GDP) and was responsible for 50% of direct jobs and 15% of indirect jobs in the area in 2011.
Citing data from the Integrated Reporting and Assurance Services’ Sustainability Data Transparency Index, Eunomix said the mining and metals sector is the largest contributor to corporate social investment and development expenditure in South Africa. A total of 33 companies in the sector reported a R3.9 billion contribution, equivalent to 46.4% of total expenditure.
According to Eunomix, the three companies’ invested a combined R1.2 billion in housing schemes over the last two years which was equivalent to 60 times the municipal expenditure in Rustenberg over the same period. And it said the 18 000 dwellings built by the companies between 2012 and 2013 covered 30% of the housing backlog from 2011.
But even as the companies provided accommodation for more than 35 000 workers, they did not appear to manage the different housing needs properly. “For instance, hostels and living-out allowances (renting) tended to cater to lower-tiered employees, migrants, and temporary workers, while the majority of housing projects catered to workers with higher paying jobs and/or those interested in settling down or living in Rustenburg for a long-term period, ” said Eunomix.
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