Corporate social responsibility
In terms of social and labour plans, the Company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes will focus on the mine community where labour originates. The main focus of CSR programmes is the provision of infrastructure and the eradication of poverty. CSR projects are identified by way of extensive interaction with the local municipalities and structures, and support normally takes the form of physical or social contributions, community capacity-building and governance.
The King Toni Thovhele Mphephu Bursary Fund
CoAL has established a bursary scheme to develop appropriate candidates who, on graduation, will be afforded professional career paths in the company. This programme intends to address the critical skills shortage in the country, particularly in Limpopo Province. CoAL has already spent over R10 million educating 44 students from communities in Ermelo (Mpumalanga Province) and the Vhembe region in Venda (Limpopo Province) at various tertiary institutions since the launch of the fund in 2009. Students are monitored throughout the course of their studies to ensure maximum pass rates.
This is a comprehensive and attractive bursary scheme for the development of young, high-potential historically disadvantaged South African (HDSA) students in key disciplines such as mining; electrical, mechanical and processing engineering; surveying; geological and environmental sciences. The bursary criteria seeks to encourage gender balance – currently, just over 41% of the 2011 intake is female.
This investment not only ensures that the company has a pool of skilled resources for its own operations but also contributes towards addressing the skills shortage in the country in general.