Mining companies listed on local and global bourses are not normally associated with the informal sector, but association is very real in the case of DRDGold. The Johannesburg- and New York-listed surface gold mining company, led by CEO Niël Pretorius, is going all out to develop the informal economy, especially around the sites where it operates.
Pretorius sees informal economics as preventing abject poverty. As a consequence, DRDGold has launched 41 broad-based livelihoods projects with the help of the University of Pretoria’s enterprise research department. The company regards the informal sector as the best and surest way of taking people out of poverty.
Moreover, he finds that with the introduction of new technology, the formal economy is progressively unable to absorb even the majority of employable individuals, let alone the less employable. During DRDGold’s latest presentation of dividend-yielding results, slides showing the informal sector in action in agriculture were displayed.