Home Opinion and Features Ekapa showcases work on its mines

Ekapa showcases work on its mines

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The central theme of the recently released video is, according to the company, the unstoppable drive by the company’s employees to continue providing for the people they care for.

Picture: Supplied

A NEW video production, which showcases the work Ekapa employees do on a daily basis, provides an unprecedented view into the mines.

The central theme of the recently released video is, according to the company, the unstoppable drive by the company’s employees to continue providing for the people they care for.

“It is this drive that has enabled Ekapa and the company’s employees to ensure that the diamond mines in Kimberley continue to operate sustainably despite having to fend off some of the worst international crises in living memory,” chief executive officer for Ekapa, Jahn Hohne, said yesterday.

“The video showcases the work Ekapa employees do every day in and around Kimberley, celebrating them as people who find pride in an honest day’s work and who make real sacrifices to contribute to the sustainability of the company they work for and for the thousands of people who depend on them for their livelihood.”

Hohne added that being proud to provide was part of the Ekapa family DNA.

“It is tangible among our employees. We recognise and appreciate it in Ekapa among our own people, but we also see this in the broader mining sector employing thousands of hard-working South Africans across the country who find their pride in providing for their loved ones.”

He stated that it was “nothing less than incredible” that Ekapa succeeded in 2019, with the valued support of the whole Ekapa team, to save the company from the diamond market crash.

“The company’s employees willingly accepted a 12.5% banked reduction in salaries for the company to remain cash positive and survive this crisis.

“The salary reductions and other extreme measures implemented at the time to save Ekapa resulted in a complete recovery of the company and full reimbursement of all salary reductions just in time before the international coronavirus crisis struck early in 2020.”

Since formal mining started 150 years ago in the city, the diamond mines in Kimberley stopped production only in very extreme cases. These include only major events such as the great depression in the 1930s and the Second World War in the 1940s.

“This gives perspective to the temporary closure of the diamond mines in 2020 as part of the South African national lockdown and the extreme measures that were implemented to survive the extent of the international Covid-19 pandemic,” Hohne explained.

The company, however, was not spared being drawn into the world-wide Covid-19 pandemic which effectively shut down luxury goods and most diamond retail sales for several months around the world.

“This should have had the effect of shutting down all diamond mining. But, thanks to the full support of all our employees again voluntarily accepting partial salary sacrifices as well as temporary banked salary reductions as part of the bold and so far successful Covid-19 survival project, Kimberley Mines, as Ekapa today, remains in business and right now appears to be benefiting from a resurgence and recovery of a world-wide diamond market.”

He added further that “in this outstanding feat of survival there is nobody else to take credit than the people working for Ekapa”.

“The process of salary re-adjustments, recoupments and getting back to normal is under way and will be rectified in the next several months,” Hohne stated.

“As an unexpected consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic Ekapa has recognised that an important opportunity manifested itself in that the board and management discovered new and unique structures and skills of reinventing the company to be highly streamlined and cost-effective, which is greatly improving the long-term bottom line economics of the entire business. These structures and skills have now been adopted for continuance and benefit for long beyond the pandemic.”

The company pointed out that it was extremely proud of its employees and what the Ekapa team has accomplished.

“We know they are proud too of what they do every day to provide for their families.

“However, we are aware that it is not possible for our employees to show their families their everyday work environment in underground and on surface mining areas due to safety precautions we have in place. The new video production now gives an unprecedented view into the mines and what our employees do every day. They can now share their pride with the people they are proud to provide for.”

The video will be followed up by a longer, more in-depth production showcasing the work Ekapa and its employees do at the internationally known and famous diamond mines in and around Kimberley.