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Location, lack of space, and facilities are often defining factors in the success of a business, the absence of which can often delay business growth. To provide alternative facilities for light industrial local SMMEs who are currently housed in residential areas, Glencore Coal constructed an industrial hub at Mhluzi, in Steve Tshwete Local Municipality (STLM).
The project is part of Glencore’s Social and Labour Plan commitment to identify projects that can potentially meet the socio-economic needs of communities as stipulated in their Zonnebloem Mining Right. Through such projects, the mining company seeks to award local SMMEs with the opportunity to make a significant contribution to local economies to alleviate some of the socio-economic challenges faced by communities.
General Manager for Community and Regulatory Affairs at Glencore Coal, Noel Pillay, addressed STLM executives, members of the community, and Glencore representatives to express the importance of the day to the community of Mhluzi.
“Demonstrating our commitment to delivering on our Social and Labour Plan responsibilities, but more importantly, it’s about our commitment to progressing together with our most valued stakeholders – our communities. We are extremely proud to be able to assist local SMMEs by providing them with access to business space to structure their activities. The overall intention is to validate the informal sector to ensure that there is diversification towards the community, local and regional economies. We are committed to improving the livelihood of our community members, and we will continue to contribute to initiatives that make it possible for greater progress to come to fruition, not just in the short term but in the future as well,” he said.
Industrial hubs have been widely associated with structural transformation, and while there are direct economic benefits, their true value lies in their contribution as incubators for industrialisation and innovation.
The following facilities can be housed in the light industrial facility:
- Vehicle repairs
- Management services
- Computer services
“As the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality, it brings us such joy to witness the outcome of our fruitful relationship with Glencore which has culminated in this industrial hub that will help to create job opportunities in our community. We will fast-track processes to speedily approve businesses that have been shortlisted to utilise this facility, the sooner we start operating, the sooner the community is impacted. Thank you to all the stakeholders who have been involved, as well as our local businesses for your openness to do business in this community, to create greater impact not just for yourselves, but those around you.” said Executive Mayor of Steve Tshwete Local Municipality, Cllr Mhlonishwa Masilela.
The hub provides partitioned working spaces and a larger workshop area with an overhead crane, a storage room, four offices, and a communal kitchen.
Through the build, Glencore contracted with Rospa Trading 28, a community contractor who was also able to provide employment opportunities to five contractors and 30 community members, 18 of whom were youth during the project construction phase.
“I’m thankful to have been afforded the opportunity to be involved in the development of my community. We hope that through this project, the community will be empowered to take charge of their future as well as take care of the facility for future employment opportunities,” said Khunollo Makuse, Managing Director of Rospa Trading 28.
Glencore remains committed to its mission of creating a sustainable and long-lasting impact in its communities. Through successful partnerships with local government and community stakeholders, the mining company continues to deliver its promise of progressing together for today and the future.