Despite the myriad challenges facing the country, work continues to better the lives of several communities.
Ivanhoe Mines’ Platreef Mine situated just outside the town of Mokopane in Limpopo is a beacon of hope for local communities. This is especially true for young people from the 28 communities that surround the mine that began its operations in 2014/15.
The mine has provided young people with opportunities to further their studies while also granting them apprenticeships. Once they have completed their studies in the different fields relevant to the mine, the mine employs them. This in turn helps in reducing the high number of unemployment within local communities.
According to one of the mine’s senior managers, Sipho Manyeke, the mine is committed to employing local people, particularly women and young people. Platreef is ramping up work related to Shaft 2, which is currently under construction and the first 770-ktpa concentrator. This will result in more local employees and contractors being recruited.
“The Platreef mine is expected to employ approximately 2 500 full time employees at [a] steady state, and will employ roughly the same number of additional contractors during the construction period,” Manyeke told SAnews during a recent visit.
Ivanhoe indirectly owns 64% of the Platreef project through its South African subsidiary, Ivanplats, and is directing all mine development work.
Lucia Lebelo, Senior Manager responsible for Community Relations, said transformation is important for the mine.
“At Ivanplats, we view transformation as an opportunity creator and priority is given to women,” she said adding that the mine is committed to developing the skills of the workforce.
“Ivanplats has provided opportunities through scholarships, internships and learnerships for the local communities since 2014,” Lebelo said.
Thomas Ntlhane who hails from the nearby village of Sekgakgapane, became part of the mine after seeing an advert in a local newspaper that the mine was looking for people to be trained as artisans. He wasted no time in applying for the apprenticeship and he was called for an interview.
He then underwent training to become a diesel mechanic.
“The mine sent me for a three-year training [course] and upon completing my training, the mine employed me as a diesel mechanic. I service their cars and do maintenance work on the mine’s generators,” he explains.
Another young person who benefited from opportunities created by the mine is Prince Malatji, who comes from the nearby village of Tshamahansi. He joined the mine after he completed his apprentice training in electrical engineering in 2018.
“I thank Ivanplats for assisting me to realise my dream.”
Malatji is currently employed as a winder technician.