Platinum Village housing development
Our most significant contribution to the wellbeing of our employees is our investment in improving their accommodation and living conditions. Over the last eight years we have invested more than R3.7 billion in accommodation around our South African operations, providing almost 3 000 housing units, converting mining hostels into more than 5 243 single units and 308 family units, and securing land for future housing development. Through this investment we seek to create local communities in which employees can reside with their families in a stable, healthy and secure environment within commuting distance of their workplace. Our home ownership programme aims to provide employees with access to affordable and decent accommodation.
Building on the highly successful Sunrise View home ownership programme, phase one of the new flagship housing development Platinum Village in Rustenburg was completed early in 2016, with 100% of the 557 units sold and occupied. We are now in the process of construction and sales for phase two of the project.
Following the completion of phase 1, the construction of phase two comprising a further 555 units started in October 2015 and by the end of the 2016 financial year 80 houses had been completed, 67 of which were fully allocated. The Platinum Village school – a R120 million project, in partnership with the North West Department of Education and the Impala Bafokeng Trust – will cater for 1 700 primary and secondary school learners in the area.
Looking ahead to 2017 and beyond we plan to complete the second phase of the Platinum Village by December 2017 and acquire the land adjacent to the Platinum Village for the next phase, ultimately completing 2 420 units over four phases. In addition the plan is to increase the number of houses built to more than 3 300 by 2018, upgrade basic infrastructure in Freedom Park informal settlement, investigate the use of different types of tenures and dwellings to replace informal settlements at Freedom Park to provide decent accommodation for backyard dwellers, and develop a convenience shopping centre in Platinum Village and provide opportunities for SMME development.
A small sample of 36 home owners was surveyed in 2016 on the quality, pricing and amenities of the housing development. The majority of the respondents (more than 80%) were happy with the various aspects of their bond agreements. More than 72% were previously renting properties and more than 80% were first time home owners.
A previous study conducted by the University of Potchefstroom in 2013 showed overwhelming support and satisfaction for our housing project offerings.
Platinum fuel cells
Implats is developing a prototype fuel-cell powered load haul dumper. An operational prototype vehicle for testing is expected underground by the final quarter of 2017. Fuel cell development can play a role in reducing greenhouse emissions and contribute to diminishing urban pollutants, which will lead to reduced healthcare costs and an improved quality of life.
Currently, diesel-fuelled load haul dumper are used underground. This releases diesel particulate matter in confined spaces and the exhaust temperature is about 350° C. To remove the polluting emissions and to sustain legislated operating temperatures, significant mine ventilation and cooling is necessary.
A fuel-cell powered load haul dumper has zero diesel particulate matter, no carbon monoxide and a minimum 40% reduction in carbon dioxide with negligible sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide formation. In addition the exhaust temperature of the fuel cell vehicle is less than half of its diesel counterpart. This will decrease emissions underground and reduce ventilation requirements and mine operational costs.
The project is part of the Impala Fuel Cell Development Roadmap, a collaborative process supported by various departments of the South African Government with ties to strategic local and international partnerships. The objective is to fast track local manufacturing of fuel cells and componentry within a proposed tributary special economic zone in the Springs region. The localisation strategy envisages partnerships with international manufacturers and in time, the backward integration of local South African sub-components.
The Impala Fuel Cell Development Roadmap represents a critical step in support of the nascent fuel cell industry, specifically for development of manufacturing capacity in South Africa, where the predominant supply of the platinum componentry is mined.
The enterprising dietician
Dynamic dietician and functional medicine advocate Mpho Tshukudu initially worked for government and pharmaceutical companies after first qualifying as a dietician. But she decided to start her own business so that she could move back to Rustenburg. She is now helping the local community by providing health services and creating awareness of obesity and lifestyle diseases caused by poor eating habits.
At first, Mpho struggled to manage the financial aspects of her practice because her university training had equipped her to be a dietician – but not to run a business and be business savvy. She was accepted onto Raizcorp’s business growth programme and learnt the ropes quickly.
“I’ve been on the business growth programme for over two years now and have a much better understanding of how to run a successful business.” says Mpho. “The entrepreneurial classes have been extremely insightful and have taught me how to market my business properly, differentiate myself from my competitors and position myself. I am now able to read my financial statements, understand my books and evaluate whether I am going in the right direction.”
Mpho also joined forces with food anthropologist Anna Trapido to publish “Eat Ting”, a recipe book that addresses the need for South African-specific nutritional guidance and offers tips and tactics for healthy living, acknowledging how difficult it is to eat a healthful diet while also leading a busy modern life.
“I am thankful to Implats for investing in me. I have benefited greatly from what I have learnt on the programme and look forward to building my business further and reaching the targets I have set myself.”
Zimplats community resettlement project
A significant item on the Zimplats risk register relates to members of the community residing within the zone of influence of the company’s tailings dam at Selous Metallurgical Complex (SMC). Several families were settled within that area by government in 2000 as part of the land resettlement programme.
While Zimplats has stringent control measures in place to ensure safe operation and management of its tailings facilities, we immediately filed a complaint with the government, registering concern for the safety of the newly-settled families. Government response was that it would move the families when suitable land was found for their relocation. Despite dialogue and requests from Zimplats, there was little movement on this issue until the 2016 financial year when government officials visited the site to confirm there were people residing in the zone of influence of the dam.
The Zimbabwean government has since pegged the area, carried out a census to confirm the number of families affected and committed to step up its efforts to find land so the families can be moved to a safer area. Meanwhile Zimplats has developed a relocation plan for the 20 families affected. This plan will see us meeting the costs of relocation, housing and assistance with compensation relating to their livelihoods.