In conjunction with the occupational health project being undertaken in a collaborative effort between the Chamber of Mines, the Department of Health and the National Union of Mineworkers (See case study: The former working mineworkers and making ODMWA work project – one year on), Teba Development has initiated the Abalimi Phambili Programme at Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal.
Modelled on the successful Abalimi Phambili Programme that has been running in the Eastern Cape since 2002, the Nongoma-based project was initiated in August 2006. Owing to delays in start-up, it has been funded by Xstrata. Once the ODMWA project starts, it is envisaged that the Nongoma project will be the first pilot site and additional funding from the gold mining industry will be channelled into this project.
The Nongoma local municipal district was selected as a key target area for the broader mineworkers project as it is a major labour-sending area in the country. This too made it an ideal target for the socio-economic development project, added to the fact that agriculture is a primary source of income for the region and that the area has high and diverse agricultural potential.
Says David Cooper, of Teba Development, “The primary goal of the project is to stimulate the local economy by the provision of support services to around 800 farmers over a period of two years. Agriculture is a primary source of income in the area and it is vital that the high-potential agricultural resources are exploited and used successfully, efficiently and sustainably.”
Four key sub-objectives have been and remain:
Says David Cooper: “We have set a number of key performance targets over the two-year period and I am pleased to report that we have made good progress in the first year. Apart from improving the livelihoods of over 460 individual farmers (and hence at their extended families), the programme has brought into production over 400ha of arable land, and has created valuable linkages with markets, supplier and support systems.
The Nongoma district in KwaZulu-Natal has a population of around 26,000 people, of whom an estimated 71% are unemployed. The estimated dependency ratio (of 1:15), which is ratio of the number of dependants to a breadwinner, is one of the highest in southern Africa. Nongoma is the home of the Zulu Royal family and has 296 traditional wards and 19 municipal wards.
AngloGold Ashanti Annual Report 2007 – Report to Society