The announcement of the Sebenza Fund “is a good example of the mining industry’s commitment to South Africa,” said Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani.

Anglo American launched the new fund at the high-level 4th Enterprise Development Conference at Gallagher Estates, Midrand, from 31 October to 1 November. This is the fifth fund launched by Zimele, the enterprise development arm of Anglo American.

The fund is a public-private partnership between Anglo American and the government’s Jobs Fund, which is managed by the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA). It will channel a total of R500 million into underprivileged and poor communities, with Anglo American and DBSA each contributing R250 million.

Cutifani explained that the money would be used to establish 30 new walk-in hubs throughout South Africa, in addition to the 32 already in place. “The aim is to create 8 000 meaningful and sustainable jobs over the next three years. This is a terrific example of what can be achieved when mining companies and government work in partnership.”

Lauding small enterprises as playing “an important role in maintaining and enhancing the social fabric of local communities,” Cutifani pointed to the example of Vista Wa Seroka Mining Solutions in Middelburg, Mpumalanga.

Before starting his business five years ago, owner Vusi Seroka had R5 in his bank account, while the current turnover of his business is R5 million a year. The business now has 37 permanent and 15 temporary employees. It supplies goods and services to Anglo American as part of its drive for enhanced local procurement.

“We have come a long way, but there is much more to be done. Our success will be determined by the willingness of industry, government, local communities and NGOs to work together. Through the expansion of Zimele, Anglo American and its partners are demonstrating this can be done.”

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