Sishen Iron Ore Company community development trust (SIOC-cdt), officially handed over the multi-purpose centre to the community of Gamagara municipali-ty on Wednesday July 26, 2017.
The super trust took over the pro-ject for the construction of a multi-purpose centre in Deben from the Gamagara Development Forum (GDF).
The Deben multi-purpose centre, valued at R13-million, comprises of a hall, a soup kitchen and a youth centre.
Briefing the Kathu Gazette was the Chief Executive Officer of the SIOC-cdt Vusani Mali who said that the lo-cal community ought to benefit de-servedly and so to fulfil the scope of the establishment of the trust.
Mr Mali also confirmed that the
trust's offices are relocating from Jo-hannesburg to Kathu. The gist of the trust is to reconfigure the community projects delivery system through its direct involvement to optimise trans-parency and improve the standard of living of the broader community of the region
The centre is aimed at providing accessible facilities to cater for a wide variety of community needs, in-cluding strengthening the cultural and social activities in the area.
There was a visible vacuum for such a facility for the community of Deben, and SIOC-cdt came in han-dy.
Expressing the positive gesture demonstrated by SIOC-cdt was the Director of the Thabang Community Development Centre, Liza Mager-man and her Chief Financial Officer
Macbain Arends who, on behalf of the Department of Social Services , are running twenty two community nutritional centres in the province according to a new concept which resembles restaurants, where peo-ple are being fed while seated.
The Deben community also gave a positive nod to SIOC-cdt for the pro-vision of the community hall and the youth centre, saying that the facili-ties will go a long way towards bring-ing the residents together in sharing ideas as a collective, as well as cur-tailing social ills perpetrated in most cases by the delinquent youths.
The youth centre, if optimised can bridge the elderly and the youth gap together, as sporting activities in-volve all age groups.

Iron-ore mining company Kumba Iron Ore on Tuesday 25 July reported a 23% increase in production in the six months to June 30, 2017 on the back of a productivity step change linked to the re-vised Sishen mine plan.
The Anglo American subsidiary ac-hieved a fatality-free half-year and re-duced lost-time injuries in producing 21.9-million tonnes of iron-ore.
The stronger operational performance and higher iron-ore prices resulted in the operating margin improving to 36%, up from 29% in the first half of last year.
Headline earnings leapt 53% with op-erating free cash flow up 48% to R8.3-billion, resulting in a robust R13.5-billion net cash position, which has enabled the company to resume dividend payments, with an interim dividend of R5.1-billion declared, representing R15.97 a share.
The reinstatement of the dividend saw the price of Kumba shares jump by more than 12% in early morning trade to R194.49 a share on Tuesday 25 July 2017.
“While the overall progress has been very encouraging, substantial effort was required simply to offset cost inflation and there is no room for complacency. The team is therefore examining every aspect of the value chain to improve Kumba's ability to endure any future price volatility,” Kumba CEO Themba Mkhwanazi said.
Kumba achieved an average cash breakeven price of $43/t in the first six months of 2017, an increase of $14/t from the average for the full year 2016.
Controllable costs increased by $1/t as a result of a $2/t increase from mining cost inflation and higher waste mining volumes, partially offset by a further re-duction in controllable overhead costs of $1/t through continued cost optimisation.
Uncontrollable costs increased as a result of higher freight rates ($3/t) and lower lump and market premiums ($5/t), higher mineral royalties ($1/t) and a stronger currency, which added $4/t.
Revenue rose 22% to R21.5-billion and the 53%-higher headline earnings a share amounted to R14.42 a share.
The board has decided to resume paying a dividend while retaining a high level of balance sheet flexibility but a conservative approach is seen as re-maining critical in the context of an on-going volatile price environment.
Kumba expressed concern that Mining Charter Three was not concluded through the usual agreement between government, business and labour, de-spite the best efforts of those stake-holders over the preceding year.
Kumba threw its weight behind the le-gal course of action being followed by the Chamber of Mines, with the ultimate ob-jective of arriving at a negotiated solution that is practical to implement, and that preserves and enhances investment in what it describes as “a critically important industry for South Africa”.
The company said that in the absence of new investment, South Africa would fail to deliver the economic growth re-quired to create greater levels of employ-ment and socio-economic uplift-ment for the benefit of all South Africans.
Kumba reiterated its commitment to meeting South Africa's transformation objectives and would continue to engage through the chamber.
The Sishen mine's consolidated mi-ning right was this month granted by the Department of Mineral Resources and the process to amend it will now proceed, with mining operations only commencing once the required environmental authori-sation has been approved, which is expected soon.
The transfer of the Thabazimbi iron-ore mine to ArcelorMittal South Africa will lapse on August 31 if conditions are not satisfied. Should this happen, Sishen Iron Ore Company will proceed with the closure of the mine.
Should the agreement become effective, employees, assets and liabilities will transfer to Arcelor-Mittal at a nominal purchase con-sideration plus the assumed liabi-lities, which includes the mine's social closure plan based on the identified needs of the Thabazimbi community. Mining Weekly

South32's Hotazel Manganese Mines (HMM) celebrated 95 employees who have worked for the company for up to 40 years.
An event to honour the long service of these dedicated and loyal employees recently took place at the Hotazel College.
All employees with uninterrupted service of
10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years were awarded long service awards from the company.
During the event, Manganese SA Vice President Operations Lucas Msimanga congratulated the long service recipients and thanked their families for the contribution and efforts throughout the years.
“It should be noted that our contributions would not have been possible without the support and love from our families,” he said.
“Our people work in diverse roles and geographies and all have a part to play in contributing to the success of our company as individuals, teams and as whole operations and functions.
“We are working hard to build an inclusive workplace with a strong culture of care and accountability, where work is well-designed and we continuously improve and learn. Nothing is more important than our people going home safe and well every day,” he said.
The longest serving employee, celebrating 40 years with South32 is Nkosivumile Matwa. He began his career as a digger and, in those days, when the company was still known as Lohatla, they used shovels and wheelbarrows to mine. Things have certainly progressed since then.
Mr. Matwa said “It feels really good and one thing I can say, is that South32 is the best company to work for. I have seen all these companies come and go, managers come and go, but I have never seen a company that respects its employees as much as South32.”
In his closing remarks at the ceremony, Mr. Msimanga said “On behalf of the long-serving employees, I want to thank their families for the support, love and "scuff-tings"(an informal local word used to describe lunchboxes), that keep us going every day.” South32 communication

A Cape Town based organisation called Publish What You Pay is on a road-show programme in the province to pro-mote transparent flow of information in the fight against corruption, as well as making communities aware of their rights - especially about mining houses.
On May 11, 2017 a workshop was held at Kuruman SAPS's canteen where about thirty participants at-tended the function.
The National Coordinator of the organisation, Ms Tafadzwa Kuvhe-ya, said that the organisation is a global alliance of NGOs, civic organisations, faith based organisations and other individuals whose objective is to advocate for transparency and minimise corrupt practices with-in their lines of operation.
specific projects. By not revealing this information, the rights of the surrounding communities are trampled.
“We also advocate for governments to legislate reporting standards for countries up to project level.
“A good example is that of a British mining company that must report about specific projects completed, projected or still underway, not to simply state that they have projects in South Africa.
“The road shows are conducted throughout the country in each province so that South Africa becomes a signatory to Publish What You Pay.
The organisation is working in con-junction with the mining affected communities United in Action (MACUA).
South Africa is the latest member of the forty countries affiliated to the organisation.
Asked how the organisation wants to achieve its goals towards the realisation of transparency, Ms Kuvheya said that while companies remain rigid to disclose their terms of operations, like the mines, the thrust is to push government to enact laws that compel companies to disclose information around socioeconomic and environmental implications - especially in the mining sector.
This sector is not disclosing relevant information for the general public to know and hence communities around mining houses are duped of their deserved incentives derived from them.
“We want mining companies to publish documents regarding their specific projects. By not revealing this information, the rights of the sur-rounding communities are trampled.
“We also advocate for governments to legislate reporting standards for countries up to project level.
“A good example is that of a British mining company that must report about specific projects completed, projected or still underway, not to simply state that they have projects in South Africa.
“The road shows are conducted throughout the country in each province so that South Africa becomes a signatory to Publish What You Pay.
The organisation is working in con-junction with the mining affected communities United in Action (MACUA).

Aveng Moolmans is one of the largest surface mining contractors in Africa. 
Moolmans offer a complete surface mining capability in both hard and soft rock environments.
The company has recently stretched out its helping hand to the needy Gamaraga High School in Deben. The school hall has been without a ceiling for a couple of months, which is suspected to have been caused by strong winds.
Mrs Lollie Van Niekerk, a teacher at Gamagara High School, then approached Aveng Moolmans to help the school with the ceiling, paint and la-bour.
As part of the company’s so-cial responsibility, Moolmans
did not hesitate to promptly offer assistance to the school.
General Manager at Mool-mans, Stephan Griessel, said it is the company’s duty to make sure it ploughs back to the community. It was not a first time initiative to the school. Last year, Moolmans donated gar-bage bins to keep the school neat and tidy.
“We are very proud of what Mr Griessel and his team have done for the school. We are facing terrible financial hiccups. We cannot afford a lot of stuff for  our school” said Mrs Van Niekerk.
It is anticipated that Aveng Moolmans will again visit the school to aid with the ablution facilities which are in a poor condition.

Numerous articles related to asbestos-related protests in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district have been churned out by this newspaper year in, year out without corresponding answers to the plight of the protestors.
The level of inertia from the outcry has necessitated the Kathu Gazette to consult relevant organisations dealing with the compensation of the asbestos ex-mineworkers under the Griqua Exploration and Finance Company (GEFCO) and African Chrysotile Asbestos (ACA).
This is simply trying to get to the understanding of the duel on the flip side of the protesting community. A well detailed document was availed for clarification by the Johannesburg based office dealing with the compensation process for the same claimants after a written questionnaire was submitted to it.
Without laying blame on individuals in the compensation process, the document revealed that all is well as long as an individual has followed due processes and found deserving to receive compensation.
Ex-mine workers who had been exposed to asbestos from qualifying operations and developed asbestos related diseases qualify to claim. Ex-miners without any asbestos related diseases do not qualify.
Also individuals who lived near or within the qualifying mines do qualify to claim if infected. Qualifying operations are the mines, mills and other operations owned by or associated with the Founders of the Asbestos Relief Trust. The founders are the companies that provided the compensation fund for the claimants.
The would-be-claimant must approach the Asbestos Relief Trust to obtain proof that he or she worked for the qualifying operations, mines or mills. The Trust Deed provides compensation for the following illnesses:
1.Asbestos dust disease (pneumoconiosis) with moderate lung function impairment.
2.Asbestos dust disease (pneumoconiosis) with severe lung function impairment.
3.Asbestos-related lung cancer.
4.Mesothelioma.
Having worked at the qualifying mines, the Asbestos Relief Trust pays for the medical examinations to establish whether or not you suffer from compensable asbestos related disease that include clinical examination, chest x-ray and lung function test.
Kuruman community can go to the Asbestos Interest Group for free assistance. Like any other institution, a verification process is needed to prove that you were a member or worker of the qualifying mines with all the medical reports obtained.
Applying for compensation, further examinations are conducted to determine whether or not you have a potential claim. Medical reports are
assessed by a panel of specialist doctors. If you have been found with a compensable asbestosis condition, your award is calculated and the claim processed for payment.
In a nutshell, the document clearly explains why the human rights advocate Richard Spoor ought to be exonerated from the ensuing allegations that he still holds the compensation money he justifiably facilitated for the ex-miners through his legal recourse.
The compensation fund is no longer under his jurisdiction or prudence, but directly managed by the trust mandated to identify deserving claimants as stipulated by the document. This is where the would-be claimants ought to draw distinct lines between the advocate and themselves.
Accurate information is needed to come to the closure regarding compensation processes to avoid false clashes among claimants, government and organisations regarding access to the fund.
A couple of splinter groups emerged and gave themselves full legitimacy when news trickled that a compensation fund for asbestos ex-mine workers had been procured.
Kgatelopele Asbestos Community is one of the organisations in hot pursuit of the compensation fund. The question is: Is the organisation well informed of the proper processes and the current manager(s) of the fund?

Kedisaletsi Syra Seupe from Magojaneng village in Kuruman has a lot to tell, as Tshipi è Ntle Manganese Mine has unearthed hidden valuables within her.
She is becoming a big name since the business empowerment skills training she attained sometime last year.
She had the idea, but it needed finality in its perfection to turn it into a saleable product. A home-based mother and spouse cum baker and confectioner, gifted in cake baking and a variety of baked foods that make many functions, anniversaries and weddings notable and memorable.
In her straight forward narrative she said that she started cooking very young in the family and that passion grew with age. She then thought of going commercial in 2013, but the going was not as easy as she en-visioned.
Cutting family budgetary money trying to up her dream, did not turn her aspirations into gold. “It was after the business training that I got from this mine in 2016 that removed the darker side in the pursuit of growing my business.
“Tshipi è Ntle, with the Kuriti

Discontent keeps on smouldering between Tau Mining workers and their employer.
Workers had to go en masse, firstly to the District Executive Mayor honourable Sofia Mosikatsi and then to the Department of Labour's Mr Bloem on May 9, 2017 pleading with them to come to their rescue over alleged UIF discrepancies.
This comes as a result of UIF con-ributions deducted from their salaries, but apparently these amounts do not reflect at the Department of Labour. 
Some of the employees with five and more years of service with the mining company, according to Mr
Joy Seikaneng the provincial AMCU Secretary, were not registered on time with the department while others were registered two to three years later.  He said that this was an indication that there was no audit by Kumba to his contractor to check for compliance.
Workers also alleged that there were fellow workers who used to work at the Mamatwan site who had  never been registered until they were transferred to the Kumba site.
The reasons that prompted the workers to go to Kuruman were two-pronged. Fellow workers wanted to determine whether or not their representatives had approached the
Department of Labour over the en-suing administrative disparities.
The manager in the Department of Labour, Mr Bloem, confirmed that the matter had been brought to his attention and he took it further to the provincial office for further verification by auditors.
Workers also claimed that they had approached the Joe Morolong and Ga-Segonyana mayors to assist in the matter, that they had agreed, but nothing had materialised out of them, hence they decided to consult with the district mayor who has re-quested them to give her ample time to take the matter further.
The manager in the Department of been some irregularities as there is a lack of records of UIF en-tries.   

Income generated by the mining indus-try rose from R393.4-billion in 2012 to R419.5-billion in 2015, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said.
Presenting the Mining Industry 2015 re-port on Wednesday 29 March 2017, Stats SA said the total income for the mining in-dustry had increased by 2.2% per annum.
Comparing 2012 and 2015, large increa-ses were reported for coal and lignite (R21.9-billion), manganese (R6.8-billion) and diamonds, including alluvial dia-monds (R6.4-billion).
However, large decreases were repor-ted for platinum group metal ore (R15.5-billion), iron ore (R7.4-billion) and gold and uranium ore (R3.3-billion).
Mpumalanga had the largest income from sales of goods in the mining industry in 2015 with R114.4-billion (or 28.8% of the industry total). The province with the second largest income from sales of goods was North West (R84.7-billion or 21.3%), noted the report.
This was followed by the Northern Cape (R69.5-billion or 17.5%), Limpopo (R45.3-billion or 11.4%) and Gauteng (R44.9-bil-lion or 11.3%).
The report, however, noted that total employment in the mining industry had de-clined.
“Total employment (mine employees, employees of subcontractors and employ-ees through labour brokers) in the mining industry declined from 538 000 in 2012 to 490 000 in 2015,” said the report.
This was a loss of 48 000 jobs.
The biggest losses in jobs were recor-ded in mining of gold and uranium ore.
In terms of mine employees, the North West province was still the largest con-tributor to persons working in the mining industry (133 000 or 37.8%). Sanews. gov.za

The Kathu Solar Park (KSP), which is under construction outside of Kathu, celebrated another milestone with the installation of the first Solar Collector Assemblies (SCAs) on 14 April 2017.
As opposed to photovoltaic units, the CSP plant harvests heat from the sun using mirrors, then that heat is projected on to horizontally positioned oil-filled tubes at the centre of the SCAs. The oil is used to transport the heat to make steam and electricity or is stored in massive batteries where the energy can be released in the evenings - when the power demand in South Africa is at its maximum.
The plant includes a 4.5 square kilometre solar field which is used to harvest the heat from the South Afri-can sun to produce electricity. The solar field will be filled with 12 000 SCAs - each of which is 6.8 metres wide, 13.2 metres long and sits 3.8
metres off the ground. The SCAs weigh in at 2600 kgs each. All together, the SCAs have a total mirror area of over 1.1-million square metres of mirror surface.
The plant which has been under construction since May of last year, is being constructed by Liciastar (Pty) Ltd - a consortium of companies SENER and Acciona - two large Spanish engineering, procuring and construction (EPC) contractors for KSP which is a consortium headed by the French renewable energy company ENGIE.
All the SCAs are assembled on site in a factory which has been purpose-built for this. The factory takes the glass mirrors, steel parts and the torque tubes (which are fabricated in Gauteng) and produces an SCA. The factory will eventually have the capability to produce over 100 SCAs per day, operating in two shifts.
The Kathu Solar Park is currently
employing 1400 persons for the construction phase and approximately 50% of them are from the local JTG community.
The Project Director of Construction and Engineering for KSP, Mark Janick, said “The installation of the mirrors at the site is another step forward for the project. We as the owner, are tremendously proud of all the work performed on the site to this point. “
This is a challenging project being executed under difficult conditions, but our team - especially the local workers - have risen to the challenge. We look forward to continued progress towards delivering this significant project and continued work with the local community to accomplish our shared goals.”
KSP will be in operation late next year and will supply enough power to power approximately 150 000 households.

In February last year, as Anglo announced a dramatic plan to sell more than half its mines, the company said it was looking to exit Kumba as part of a wider retreat from iron ore and coal. Since then, the company curtailed its di-vestment plan after a rally in the commodities it was seeking to exit, helped remove the pressure on its balance sheet.
Anglo is “happy to stick with” its iron-ore and export-.coal mines in South Africa, Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani said.

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