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EMPOWERMENT
 
Arm empowerment trust distributes first cash to uplift communities
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18th February 2008
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Black-controlled diversified miner African Rainbow Minerals (Arm) on Monday handed over some R8-million in cheques to the various beneficiaries of its empowerment trust, which would go towards healthcare, education and other initiatives mainly in rural areas.

This was after the firm paid its maiden dividend in October last year, with one-tenth of that going to the broad-based black economic-empowerment trust, which holds the same percentage of shares in Arm.

The beneficiaries included five provincial rural upliftment trusts, a women's upliftment trust, church trusts, two trade union companies, and Arm also made a special donation to the Nelson Mandela Children's Foundation.

The handing over of the cheques was attended by a large delegation of heavyweight politicians, tribal leaders, and businesspeople, and even Mandela's former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota, who was standing in for Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica, lauded Arm's empowerment structure as "a brilliant idea", as it incorporated various royal families.

Speaking in Sandton, Arm chairperson Patrice Motsepe said that it was important that rural people participated.

He said that the money paid had to be used for education, healthcare and to help the disadvantaged.

Asked in a Mining Weekly Online interview how Arm would ensure that this happened, CEO Andre Wilkens said that the firm had put together a trust deed that stipulated what the cash must be used for.

He added that the trustees serving on these trusts were not being paid for it, but were "serving out of their commitment to South Africa".

"We have set up the trust deeds in such a way that we are confident that the money will go where we wanted it to go," Wilkens added.

Edited by: Mariaan Webb

 

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Arm CEO Andre Wilkens discusses its empowerment payout with Mining Weekly Online (18-02-2008). Footage: Lizelle Cronje, Editing: Darlene Creamer.
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