Research conducted last year by the University of Johannesburg on behalf of Glencore showed the dire straits that communities are facing in and around the coal mining areas especially when it comes to basic human needs, poverty and psychosocial challenges. Glencore Coal, in collaboration with Re-Action have introduced the Community Resilience Mobile Program in response to these prevalent challenges to increase access to services which are the foundation on which an outcome of resilience will be built in the host and mine communities around Glencore operations of the Emalahleni Local Municipality and the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality.
“We have launched this Community Resilience Mobile Programme with the understanding that progress in our communities will truly be felt when members rise out of out of adversity. Through this Program community members can focus on building up their entire community and strengthening all members to reclaim and stabilise their community thereby improving our social licence to operate,” said Murray Houston, CEO of Glencore Coal South Africa.
Glencore supports the improved development system, dealing with real issues that can set communities on the path to resilience while offering meaningful opportunities to collaborate and make a difference within communities.
The program will be implemented in Phola, Ogies, Rietpsruit, Albion, Belfast, Doornkop, and parts of KwaGuqa and Mhluzi on a rotational basis via a mobile vehicle and resources for the following services:
Counselling & support for Gender Based Violations of women and children rights;
Support victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, & abuse;
Provide legal advice and psychosocial counselling to vulnerable and marginalized groups which will include key populations (Sex Workers, LGBTQI groups);
Assist individuals with identity document applications and drawing up wills;
Assist individuals and families with substance abuse challenges; and
For an interim period, to conduct communicable and non-communicable screenings to assist the Nkangala District Department of Health with their COVID-19 response plan.
The Mpumalanga MEC for Health, Sasekani Manzini, thanked Glencore for being consistent in their endeavors to contribute to community development in their surrounding communities. “We as the department of Health continue to enjoy a very good public private partnership with Glencore, as we have witnessed the donation of many services which are meant for the well-being of our communities. We thank Glencore for its commitment to this human cause, we wish to request the mine to continue with its work of developing the community.” she said.
As part of the launch, the mobile will visit several communities to provide community members a first-hand experience of the services that will be available.
Glencore’s social partner, Re-Action’s Executive Director, Sharon White said, “Community Resilience is a long term project and grows through support and extension of natural caring relationships that must be nurtured. Our Model is based on Manfred Max Neefs Human Scale Development approach - the purpose of the economy is to serve the people, and not the people to serve the economy. This starts with strengthening natural helping institutions in neighborhoods and builds on strengths not weaknesses. We encourage the people of these communities to address their own autonomy and engage in creative solutions for the people by the people.