KATHU (miningweekly.com) – Kumba Iron Ore CE Themba Mkhwanazi on Tuesday officially handed over 17 parks, as well as the Siyathemba Youth Centre, to the community of Siyathemba, near Kathu.
Siyathemba is a newly built suburb, near Kathu, in the Northern Cape, to which the previous town of Dingleton is being relocated. This relocation project is 98% complete.
Kumba operates the Sishen mine in the region, and started the process of consulting and negotiating with the residents of Dingleton regarding relocation over ten years ago to enable the company to mine in the area where Dingleton is located.
Mining in this area will enable the company to extend the current life of the 66-year-old Sishen mine to over 20 years, from the current 14-year mine life.
As part of the relocation project, Kumba initiated engagements with the community and the municipality on the post resettlement livelihood and sustainability of this community.
The youth centre is a manifestation of these initiatives, with the youth having expressed their desire for a space that would accommodate their needs.
It is expected to benefit the community by providing a safe and comfortable space with notable amenities, which will help mitigate the challenges faced by the youth, especially the rise of substance and alcohol abuse in the area.
The new youth centre will be managed by LoveLife. It can accommodate 55 youths at a time across the various spaces in and around the building.
The youth centre features a computer room with six computers; a multipurpose field with Astroturf and floodlights for soccer, hockey and mini-cricket; a training room where skills development will be conducted; a multipurpose room; two offices; a picnic area with braai facilities; a foosball table; change rooms with lockers and showers; counselling rooms for youth counselling; kitchen facilities for catering purposes; ablution facilities for staff and the youth; and two offices for administration and running of the centre.
A netball court will also be built before June.
DINGLETON – SIYATHEMBA RELOCATION PROJECT
The relocation project provided for the relocation of 517 households, about 3 437 people and various entities.
Siyathemba is about 32 km away from Dingleton.
The project has cost about R3-billion so far.
This is an all-encompassing figure, with an entire town needing to be built on land owned by Kumba.
In addition to building 500 new houses, Kumba also expanded and built new schools, seven new churches, along with brand new community recreational facilities, a police station, an office block and rental accommodation, municipal buildings and offices, libraries and community centres, the design of a new clinic and extensive landscaping.
The relocation was conducted according to the best-practice codes of the International Finance Corporation and involved extensive consultations and negotiations with individual homeowners and a Resettlement Working Group comprising elected community representatives and local ward councillors.
Kumba sought a location that would allow the community to stay together, but also be integrated into the existing town of Kathu. Not only are residents of Siyathemba expected to benefit from their proximity to Kathu but, residents of Kathu will benefit from the suburb’s facilities.
About 2 800 trees have been planted in Siyathemba thus far. Each household received a JoJo tank to alleviate water costs and each house has a solar geyser to reduce electricity costs.
To date, 507 of the 517 households have been successfully moved to Siyathemba and have received compensation.
Kumba is negotiating with the hold outs, who are vying for a higher settlement. The company anticipates reaching a resolution with these home owners reasonably soon.
Kumba has levelled all unoccupied, unserviced houses and buildings as they pose a health and safety risk. This also prevents the illegal occupation of the vacated premises.