DRDGold environmentalist awarded for contributions towards cleaner air

15th October 2021 By: Donna Slater - Creamer Media Contributing Editor and Photographer

DRDGold environmental manager Louis Kleynhans has received a Golden Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Cause for Clean Air from the Council of the National Association for Clean Air (Naca).

As a qualified horticulturalist, he has worked for DRDGold for 37 years, 27 of these in his present role.

Kleynhans received the Naca award in recognition of his leadership role in addressing dust challenges at DRDGold’s active mine tailings reclamation sites, cleared sites and tailings storage facilities (TSFs).

In doing so, he led the development of cost-effective procedures for the establishment and maintenance of indigenous vegetation on active mine tailings reclamation sites, cleared sites and TSFs to reduce dust and improve air quality for surrounding communities.

“It is a great honour and I am grateful for the personal recognition, but I have to pay tribute to DRDGold for its consistent support over the years, often in the face of external criticism, and for the backing of my team, comprising both fellow employees and contractors,” says Kleynhans.

DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius says that, besides bringing his knowledge and experience to DRDGold’s vegetation programme over many years, Kleynhans has taken a keen interest in onboarding and mentoring community start-up companies to establish and run nurseries, and to vegetate and help DRDGold manage the vegetation at its many sites, thus creating much-needed new skillsets and jobs.

“His work often brings him into contact with our surrounding communities, not always in easy circumstances, and his calm ‘can-do’ approach with people is invaluable,” says Pretorius.