Johannesburg – Anglo American, the diversified mining group, has launched the second phase of its education programme.
The programme, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, is part of the company’s Sustainable Mining Plan.
Over four years, 2018-2022, the programme made good progress in improving quality education for 222 000 learners and 3 391 teachers at 109 schools and 110 early childhood development centres, in Anglo American’s host communities in mining towns across the country.
“By doubling our investment and targeting specific outcomes, we are going far beyond simply acknowledging the fundamental right of every child to quality education.
“We are making it happen,” said Nolitha Fakude, chairperson of Anglo American’s management board in South Africa.
“Supporting access to better education and school infrastructure, creating sustainable jobs, and contributing to brighter and healthier futures, is one of the ways we’re delivering a lasting positive contribution.
“It’s supporting communities to thrive beyond the life of our mines.”
The mining company’s support has ensured that children in Anglo American host communities have reasonable access to education and training as an essential gateway to tertiary education and ultimately help increase the employability of young people throughout their working lives.
The mining company said it aims to invest more than R1 billion in improved educational outcomes, targeting schools in host communities to join the top 20% of state schools nationally by 2030, as per their Sustainable Mining Plan.
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said, “South Africa has made great strides in advancing universal access to education over the past 28 years, and our journey must continue through innovative partnerships.
“The basic education sector is vast and for that reason, we recognise that partnerships are key to resolving some of the challenges we face as a country.
“Therefore, our partnership with Anglo American is a tangible example of what can be achieved when business and government partner to make a lasting difference, especially in education, which is the country’s priority focus.
“The continuation of Anglo American’s impactful education programme makes the company one of the significant private-sector contributors to South Africa’s education system. This is something we can all be proud of.”
“We are looking forward to building on our success by focusing on developing well-rounded learners who can navigate the exciting future ahead of them.
“This can be done if we get the fundamentals right while supporting them to develop future skills wherever they may be,” said Zaheera Soomar, Anglo American global head of education and community skills.
Soomar said other investment initiatives in the programme include information and communication technology, learner and parent supporter initiatives, career guidance, nutrition and food gardens, after-school programmes and sporting activities in the selected schools.