In keeping with its commitment to mining communities and sustainability, during
operations and after closure, AngloGold Ashanti felt it fitting that it should
leave the communities surrounding Ergo with a lasting legacy when the plant is
decommissioned in 2005.
The AngloGold Ashanti Fund makes available a budget of R16,148 million
($2,159 million) a year for corporate social investment, to focus on health
care, HIV/AIDS, welfare, education, skills development and training and job
creation. (This includes the Fund's management fee.) The Fund's board of
trustees gave the go-ahead in 2004 for a sum of R6 million ($0,936 million) to
be invested in the township communities of Tsakane and Kwa-Thema.
In February 2004, the Fund invited a number of key stakeholders from the area
to take part in a consultative process to jointly prioritise interventions which
would be sustainable into the future. A number of workshops were held, bringing
together NGOs (non-governmental organisations), government departments, Ergo
employees, service providers, and Fund Management in order to fully understand
the social dynamics and specific needs of the area.
Three important areas were identified - education, skills development,
welfare and community care development. The education and community care
components are being directed by the Fund and skills development is the
responsibility of the Ergo operation through its social plan training programme,
aimed at providing marketable skills to employees. (See case study: Closure
consultation with communities at Ergo.)
The Ergo Programme commenced in January 2005 and will run for a three-year
period, ending in December 2007.
Education development component
The main aim of the education component is the upliftment of educators and
learners in mathematics, science and technology, with a view to improving and
enhancing the teaching skills of educators, many of whom are under-resourced,
and encouraging more learner interest in these subjects, particularly at higher
grade level. The focus though is on the educators, as they will be able to make
a sustainable difference for many years to come. Sipho Mahlangu, programme
manager of the Fund, says, "In order to achieve this goal, the levels of
Mathematics, Science, Technology and Literacy at Primary School and Secondary
School level need to be addressed as these are areas where teachers are under
qualified and learners are not performing."
The Ergo programme will include a selection of 20 primary schools and all 14
secondary schools in these two areas. The programme is aligned with the National
Curriculum 2005 - outcomes-based education (OBE), which favours a pupil-centred
rather than a teacher-centred approach to learning and will thus assist teachers
in the transition from traditional teaching methods to the new OBE approach.
Mahlangu says the Fund's vision is to demystify mathematics and science teaching
and learning. "Many children today make subject choices at school, based on the
fear of mathematics and science, rather than on their personal aspirations. We
hope to change this attitude," he explains.
Programme for Technological Careers (PROTEC) is the preferred service
provider for the implementation of a Mathematics and Science intervention in
Secondary Schools. PROTEC has excellent experience in implementing Mathematics,
Science and Technology interventions in Secondary Schools. Although the focus
again is on improving teaching skills in mathematics and science, PROTEC will
also provide coaching to learners. The high school programme will start with Grade 10
educators and learners, who will benefit from the intervention up to
matriculation (grade 12) level.
The primary schools programme will also include basic technology and
literacy, the latter of which is to be supplied by the Read Educational Trust,
which serves 1,600 schools in South Africa and develops materials and books for
students and teachers. Mathematics, science and technology teaching will be
supplied by the Mathematics Centre for Professional Teachers (MCPT), which
provides training materials, workshops and classroom visits to enhance teachers'
competency in teaching mathematics.
A Management Committee has been formed comprising the Ekurhuleni East
Department of Education (under which Tsakane and Kwa-Thema fall), including its
curriculum, mathematics, science and technology (MST) and institutional
development divisions; the service providers - PROTEC, Read Educational Trust
and MCPT; a Principals Forum (comprising representatives from primary and
secondary schools); Chris Wiseman, senior human resources manager Ergo; and
Sipho Mahlangu from the AngloGold Ashanti Fund.
All parties are accountable to the Ergo Programme and will meet regularly
during the three-year period. Service providers will be required to submit
quarterly progress reports as part of monitoring and evaluation. The high school
programme is expected to yield tangible matric results only at the end of the
programme in 2007.
Community care component
The community care component of the programme is to be run by St George's
Home through its 'Rearabilwe Programme' (Sotho for 'we are answered'). This
programme aims to develop and implement community-based models of care for
orphan and vulnerable children, and to facilitate the co-ordination of services
by existing service providers in order to limit the impact of HIV/AIDS on the
social fabric of society. Mahlangu says, "The purpose of this component is to
uplift the communities' social standing. The growing number of orphans and
vulnerable children resulting from HIV/AIDS is a much neglected area and
requires attention and resources. Children are falling out of the system due to
uncoordinated efforts from current service providers dealing with only elements
of care and support for children. There is a general lack of holistic programmes
which ensure that all the needs of children are addressed."
Aimed at long-term social sustainability, 'Rearabilwe's' planning methodology
is to support and strengthen existing community initiatives; to facilitate
access to available resources; to bridge the gaps in service provision; and to
ensure access to state support.
The project brings together major stakeholders, who are committed to meeting
key objectives through crucial interventions for children in need. Intervention
strategies, aimed at establishing efficient systems and ensuring sufficient
resources through which to provide immediate and on-going child care, include a
networking and partnership programme; a governance and management programme; a
main programme (which comprises identification, registration, referral and
placement of needy children); continuous care; screening of potential
care-givers; a foster care recruitment programme; school-based support teams (SBST);
and training and support. Equally important is the establishment of a reporting
tool, by way of committees and forums, both to monitor and support all
interventions. Stakeholders are expected to assume full responsibility for its
running and monitoring.
St George's Home already runs a successful 'Rearabilwe' programme in the
Etwata/Daveyton community and this is to be replicated in Tsakane and KwaThema.
A pre-feasibility study has already been conducted to identify areas of need.
A separate Steering Committee has been formed, comprising St George's Home
and representation from other service providers and/or NGOs; the Ekurhuleni East
Department of Social Development; Chris Wiseman from Ergo and Sipho Mahlangu
from the Fund.
The Ergo Programme is a pilot project which, if successful, will pave the way
for similar projects in other communities surrounding AngloGold Ashanti's
operations. Recent experience has shown, however, that any interventions should
preferably start at a much earlier stage that the Ergo Programme, ideally while
the operation is still running.
Why Tsakane and Kwa-Thema?
AngloGold Ashanti is spending R6 million ($0.436 million) in the township
community of Tsakane and Kwa-Thema.
These two areas are the largest sources of labour for the operation and are
likely to be hardest hit by the withdrawal of a major source of revenue and
employment from the area. Ergo's current staff complement is 843 of which 273
(33%) and 283 (34%) are drawn from Kwa-Thema and Tsakane respectively. In
common with many urban townships in Gauteng, Kwa-Thema and Tsakane face a
number of social problems particularly unemployment, crime, HIV/AIDS, a
growing number of orphans and vulnerable children, and poverty. AngloGold
Ashanti is acutely aware of the impact that the Ergo closure will have on
Maths education needed
Recent research by the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) showed
that, although enrolment for senior certificate (SC) mathematics nearly
doubled between 1991 and 2003, enrolment in higher grade mathematics - a
tertiary education entrance requirement - had plummeted.
"Only 4,637 African candidates matriculated with HG mathematics in 2002.
This reality undermines all our ambitions for the country, for expanded
economic growth, for black economic empowerment, for community development,"
said CDE executive director Ann Bernstein, in a study commissioned on the two
communities earmarked by the Fund for the programme. "Think what this means by
looking at two townships, Tsakane and Kwa-Thema, situated at the heart of the
national economy in Gauteng. In 2003, they had 1,600 senior certificate passes
but only 12 of these included higher grade mathematics."