Exxaro recently held a sod-turning ceremony for Phase 1 of the Sports, Art and Culture Precinct as part of its mission to empower the Marapong community.
The precinct is currently being built in partnership with the Lephalale Municipality and the Limpopo’s Department of Sports, Arts and Culture.
Delivered by Grootegeluk Coal Mine, the sod-turning ceremony took place in May 2021 and represents one of the projects the operation has committed to in its 2022 Social Labour Plan for the Marapong Corridor. Other commitments include an Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre, as well as a new school hall and additional classrooms for Nelsonskop Primary School.
“Fostering relationships with our communities and people is key to our business growth and success. Our goal is to create resilient and self-sufficient communities in the long term by implementing local development initiatives to improve social infrastructure, education, employment, and local procurement,” explained Ronaldt Mafoko, Grootegeluk operations general manger.
Serving as a safe place for community members to practice athletics, soccer and rugby, the Marapong Sports, Arts and Culture Precinct will uplift the people of Marapong. It will also provide facilities for a clubhouse and art exhibition centre.
“To ensure measurable benefits, our social impact approach evaluates the scope and scale of the initiatives implemented in the communities surrounding our operations. We want to offer the people of the community an environment for a cultural and sustainable livelihood,” added Mzila Mthenjane, Executive Head: Stakeholder Affairs.
The second phase of the project will include the construction of an outdoor gym, water park, kids play area, netball court, softball field, and a theatre for events.
“This project will encourage engagement from both participants and non-participants with the hosting of sports, art and cultural events. It will also offer safe recreational activities for the youth and population of Lephalale at large.”
Exxaro’s initiatives in the community stand testament to the good that comes from collaboration, proactive engagement, and cultivating a deeper understanding of societal needs. The company recognises the strength in building relationships, embracing unique differences, and treating each other with respect. And by promoting these attitudes, Exxaro continues its journey to bring on change and power better lives in Africa and beyond.