Thousands of Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) mine workers who have been finding it difficult to access houses will soon benefit from the company’s decision to build over 20 000 houses for its employees at the cost of R1, 4 billlion.
Amplats will build 12 000 houses in North West and 8 000 in Limpopo over the next ten years as part of a campaign Each-One-Settle-One launched by Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale in September. The campaign is aimed at all South Africans, especially companies listed in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, to help government address the housing backlog estimated at more than 2, 3 million.
Speaking at the launch of 310 houses at Northam in Limpopo earlier today, Amplats CEO Neville Nicolau said the company did not want its workers to live in isolation at the mines but to be part fully integrated in the communities where Amplats operates from.
“Amplats’ housing business model is based on the premise that employees shall own houses and lessen their reliance or dependency on company provided accommodation both on-mine and off-mine. The main reason of this approach is to encourage and promote homeownership among its employees at all levels,” said Nicolau.
For human settlements minister, the campaign is starting to bear fruit. “This is what we had in mind when we thought of the concept of Each One Settle One, that we need each other – corporates and government – and that it is through these partnerships that we can succeed as a country,” said Sexwale. He said this kind of investment was good for both employers and employees as companies could no longer afford to earn “huge turnovers” when their workers went home to slums after work. Amplats had also helped the Thabazimbi local municipality by providing basic infrastructure such as roads and sanitation.