Zutari is working in a consortium of private and public sector organisations to build socio-economically sustainable businesses in the traditionally strong mining areas of South Africa.
As part of their Mining Charter requirements, mining companies are doing great work in developing small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) near their operations. Most of these SMMEs are, however, selling their services to the mines and are therefore at risk of becoming redundant when the mines close in future.
It is therefore essential to start creating supplementary industries and circular economies around the mines to ensure the long-term sustainable existence of the mining communities and current businesses in those communities and towns.
Through the Impact Catalyst programme, the consortium is identifying projects that could take advantage of the existing global, national, or regional market gap. The projects are then screened and taken through pre-feasibility and feasibility phases to ensure they will be financially viable and sustainable, won’t be reliant on the mines or on the Impact Catalyst programme for their continued existence post-implementation, and will directly benefit the communities living in those areas.
Zutari’s contribution includes programme management, stakeholder engagement and communication, technical and advisory support, execution and oversight of the various projects, and project screening and workshops.
Other partners in the consortium include Anglo American, Assmang, Exxaro Resources, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Deloitte Consulting, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC), Kudumane Manganese Resources, Limpopo Office of the Premier, Minerals Council of South Africa, Mine Water Coordinating Body, Northern Cape Office of the Premier, South32, World Vision.
Most of these SMMEs are, however, selling their services to the mines and are therefore at risk of becoming redundant when the mines close in future.
The project team developed a holistic project execution plan, monitoring and evaluation plan and stakeholder engagement plan with multiple consortium member requirements and many public and private stakeholders across three provinces.
Some of the current projects that form part of the Impact Catalyst programme are:
- Integrated game farming with a blended industrial approach to develop entire value chains while aiming to use the land in an optimal way to create as many jobs and SMME opportunities as possible
- An irrigation scheme, agro-processing, and fresh produce market(s) to contribute to food security in the region
- A community-oriented primary healthcare programme in collaboration with the University of Pretoria to train nurses in the communities to provide primary care for community members in their homes
Some of the project challenges include finding suitable projects that could be developed within the spatial constraints of the regions whilst meeting the requirements for large-scale job creation and SMME opportunities for the communities, and ensuring proper project, governance and commercial due diligence on projects whilst driving momentum through short-term successes. To overcome these challenges, the project team developed a holistic project execution plan, monitoring and evaluation plan and stakeholder engagement plan with multiple consortium member requirements and many public and private stakeholders across three provinces.
“The project started in 2020 and will be running for the next 15 to 20 years. We are currently mobilising as many projects as we can to create momentum that will help as many local SMMEs as possible,” comments Pieter Scholtz, Zutari Technical Director.
*The Aurecon Africa business has been officially renamed Zutari as at 21 July 2020. Zutari acquired Aurecon Middle East on 20 November 2020.