IMPLATS: Annual review of socioeconomic development projects

Date of work: 2011 – 2021

Recognising that the sustainability of its mining activities depends ultimately on the wellbeing and prosperity of its mine communities, Implats makes significant investments in the socio-economic development (SED) of the countries in which it operates – R126 million in South Africa, US$2 million in Zimbabwe and C$281 000 in Canada in the 2021 financial year. Implats’ SED projects are located around its mines and are intended to serve the local communities. Most projects are around the Rustenburg operations, given its size and scale, and are funded as part of Implats’ Social and Labour Plan (SLP). Additional projects are located around Afplats, and in Springs, Marula, Zimbabwe and Ontario, Canada.

For more than 10 years, Trialogue has provided independent assessments of most of Implats’ SED projects, reviewing between 10 and 50 projects annually. Each year, we collect background information on the projects, interview Implats’ project managers and conduct site visits where we interview community members. For some of the projects – including the bursary, learnership and enterprise development programmes – we also conduct beneficiary surveys. The results are written up in detailed reports, which outline our findings on the design, implementation, outcomes, sustainability and risks of each project, together with a set of recommendations for each project.

The findings and recommendations are presented to the Implats SED team for discussion and feedback. They are used to strengthen the individual projects, to provide feedback to stakeholders and to inform Implats’ SED strategy and its SLPs. Additionally, information from the reviews is used in Implats’ annual ESG report and for B-BBEE verification purposes.

For the past three years, Trialogue has worked with a local black-owned and managed contractor in the Rustenburg area to jointly review Implats’ SED projects. We have provided training workshops and ongoing feedback to capacitate the local service provider, who will be taking over most of the project reviews from 2022.

“Trialogue has demonstrated the true definition of imparting and developing skills in a niche service. Impala Rustenburg’s local service provider would not ordinarily have gathered this skill had it not been for this partnership. In doing this, Trialogue has assisted the Implats Group in creating shared value.”

Kwena Mmeti: Socio-Economic Development Manager, Impala