Social and relationship capital
Stakeholders, objectives and issues
All projects are underpinned by extensive stakeholder engagement which extends to social and labour plan projects to enable active participation and the necessary project buy-in at an early stage. Our long-term sustainability relies on establishing and maintaining sound relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, including individuals, groups, institutions and communities at large.
Through a formalised engagement process and direct engagement with our stakeholders, we can identify key issues within the community. We are therefore able to align and review the formal social and labour plan to incorporate projects that will have a high impact in our host communities. This is done through a formal Section 102 application, as per the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, and serves to change the existing commitments in the social and labour plans. The Section 102 application is a formal process of obtaining consent from the Minister of Mineral Resources to amend permits, rights, programmes or plans in documents such as social and labour plans, mining work programme and EMP, among others.
When the Cooke operations were acquired by Sibanye in May 2014, the Department of Mineral Resources called for certain misalignments, between the Cooke social and labour plans and the Group’s operating model, to be addressed. Sibanye has a six-pronged operating strategy, which includes cost reduction, greater flexibility and capital optimisation. Within this context, we had to ensure that the Cooke social and labour plan commitments were achievable, affordable and cost-effective, and aligned with commitments stated in the other Sibanye social and labour plans. These and other concerns contained in the Section 93 directive and the Section 93 order issued by the Department of Mineral Resources following the compliance inspection in October 2013 were addressed during a workshop held with the Department of Mineral Resources.
As a result, an agreement was reached between the Department of Mineral Resources and Sibanye that the Cooke social and labour plans and social and labour plan implementation plans would be revised and aligned with the Sibanye operating model.
We also agreed to review possible offsets in cases where targets were unrealistic and had resulted in backlogs. One of the projects considered as an offset was the construction of the JS Skenjana Senior Secondary School in Idutywa, Eastern Cape. The need for the school had been identified by the former premier of the Eastern Cape.
A site visit to the proposed school was subsequently undertaken from 23 to 27 June 2014 by the Corporate Affairs team, the Gauteng and Eastern Cape regional offices of the Department of Mineral Resources, municipal councillors, the Eastern Cape Department of Education (DoE) and officials from the office of the premier of the Eastern Cape. The visit was aimed at providing a platform for stakeholders to engage about infrastructure projects planned to offset backlogs in all of Sibanye’s local economic development projects, including those of the Kloof and Driefontein operations. The outcome of the site visit included:
- All Sibanye operations would assist in infrastructure development and project management for the proposed school. Funding for the project would be pro-rated according to the production profiles of each Sibanye operation and proportional representation of staff from the labour sending areas at each mine.
- The Eastern Cape DoE would provide specifications as per government’s Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) safety norms and standards for school infrastructure, equipment, staffing and maintenance.
- The office of the premier of the Eastern Cape would facilitate land allocation.
- National Treasury would assist with funding.
- The Mbhashe Local Municipality would provide services to the site.
- A memorandum of agreement (MoA) would be signed by all stakeholders prior to the commencement of the project.