West Wits South Africa project a win-win for local communities and investors
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Special report: South African communities have benefited in more ways than one since West Wits Mining started small-scale mining activity in the country.
West Wits (ASX:WWI) has committed to a number of passion projects that will help the local community after South Africa’s new administration adopted a business-centred strategy for the country.
South Africa announced that it wants to attract $US100 billion ($133 billion) in new investment and position its mining sector as a driver of economic recovery.
West Wits Mining employs 25 staff from the local community for mine security and logistics. The company expects to double the number of local employees once mining permits are granted — and then grow this workforce to 600 to 1000 when full production starts.
The company is behind the Witswatersrand Basin mining project, which is home to one of the most extensive gold reserves in the world. The project has now been in production for more than 12 months and reached a cash flow positive position in November 2017.
Rehabilitation and Infrastructure
One of the key elements of WWI’s Kimberley Central Open Pit project has been the rehabilitation of historical mineworks near surface with the removal of access to old mine shafts.
The mine shafts have been plugged at depth and the pit back-filled, enabling the landowner to extend urban development, including low cost housing and playing fields, delivering a number of community benefits.
This follows a government initiative that aims to address illegal mining in South Africa.
The company has also committed to building the infrastructure of a local community development centre.
This includes laying the foundations, installing the toilet block, connecting gas and electricity, converting a sea container into an office block, and more. This Centre provides meals to the underprivileged and unemployed in the area, with a focus on the young and elderly.
This initiative will enable local leaders to extend its program to community development projects in the near future.
Supporting entrepreneurial pursuits
The West Wits senior management team recently donated their collective time and expertise to help build entrepreneurial skills and techniques within the local community.
The mine’s executive chairman Michael Quinert recently teamed up with mine manager Eddie Milne and corporate development and investor relations manager Simon Whyte to participate in a session of the Mandelaville Crisis Centre’s twelve-month Entrepreneur program which was modelled on the likes of Network Ten’s hit show Shark Tank.
The trio acted as the investor panel while participants spent five minutes pitching their business ideas, offering feedback and asking questions at the end of each pitch. The process offered participants unique insights into how they can develop their ideas into potential business opportunities that could work for both local and international markets.
West Wits has also been active in the vegetable production project, which involved sponsoring several local community members seeking employment through a market garden program.
The project develops skills to not only grow vegetables, but also sell the produce at the bustling Johannesburg market and invest the proceeds back into ongoing projects to create sustainable benefits for the community. Excess produce is also distributed among the community.
West Wits donated three desktop computers to the Mandelaville Crisis Centre, which was established in 2002 to provide a number of services to combat poverty.
The Crisis Centre is used for a number of community programs, including adult computer workshops to increase community literacy rates among locals.
The donation has expanded the reach of the programs, increasing class sizes and enabling the resource-starved Crisis Centre to continue to work in partnership with government and its local community to enhance the lives of South Africans.
This special report is brought to you by West Wits Mining.
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