It is important that the access roads be improved to economical standards
KIMBERLEY Ekapa Mining Joint Venture (KEM-JV) has committed a “R13 million gift” to the Sol Plaatje Municipality which will be used for the upgrading of roads in Greenpoint and Ritchie.
At a Sol Plaatje City Council meeting, it was pointed out that in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, the mine has to submit a social labour plan.
“In terms of the Act, the social labour plan must incorporate the mine community development plan which is aligned with the IDP objectives of the local municipality where the mine operates.”
Greenpoint was chosen as this is the immediate catchment area of the mine and it is required in terms of the social labour plan that the immediate community must be the beneficiaries of the projects.
Ritchie was also chosen as it is one of the underdeveloped areas within the Sol Plaatje jurisdiction, with aged infrastructure and a potential for future growth, especially in the agricultural sector.
“In order to improve on potential investment opportunities, it is important that the access roads be improved to economical standards. It is for this reason that this project was submitted for consideration by the mine,” a report on the items states.
KEM-JV requested that the projects be included in the city’s IDP (Integrated Development Plan) which necessitated an amendment to the budget.
Sol Plaatje Executive Mayor, Mangaliso Matika, pointed out Ekapa had committed to giving R13 million. “Initially they wanted to take the whole amount to Greenpoint, but we persuaded them to share it between Greenpoint and Ritchie. We must accept this gift and ensure that it is forwarded to the relevant committee so that it can be included in the IDP.”
He added that the company wanted to implement a similar process from its previous two financial years, which would see a possible additional R13 million also being invested.
According to Matika, among the projects earmarked for this money are the Craven Street stalls, the Greenpoint information trading zone and the upgrading of the resorts. “We will present these projects to the LED (Local Economic Development) Committee for consideration.”
He added that in total R26 million would be spent by Ekapa on the development of local communities.
KEM-JV spokesperson, Gert Klopper, yesterday confirmed that commitments had been made with regards to the KEM-JV Social Labour Plan (SLP) for the period 2018 to 2022. He added, however that these required further stakeholder discussions prior to the actual proportional spend and execution.
“The projects currently in the draft SLP, which will be presented to the Department of Mineral Resources for approval, include infrastructure projects, construction of paved streets, stormwater systems, and the refurbishment of a community hall.”
He stressed that this a draft document, and that these could still change. “The current Section 189 process at KEM-JV, as well as the life of the mine might also affect the commitments in terms of this SLP.”
Regarding the additional R13 million, Klopper pointed out that some projects from the SLPs of the business units now forming part of KEM-JV, were still ongoing with a view to be completed soon.
“The total of the amounts involved, however, are considerably less than R13 million.”