Anglo American Platinum has embarked on a plan to address some of the water challenges in the Greater Mapela region in South Africa.
The finalisation of the initiative comes just a week after the announcement of Anglo American’s new sustainability strategy, which includes a commitment to reduce freshwater abstraction by 50% in water-scarce regions.
Limpopo Province is currently experiencing water challenges which have led to major constraints on the ability of government, and in turn, that of the municipality, to provide water.
Anglo American Platinum together with the Mapela Task Team as a community stakeholder identified an opportunity for the company to support the community in the provision of water and this has subsequently been endorsed by the Mogalakwena Municipality.
Anglo American Platinum undertook to fund Hall Core Water Mapela (HCWM) in order to support the Mapela Traditional Authority in developing a sustainable plan for the region.
Hall Core Water Mapela will be responsible for increasing the water supply capacity through drilling, equipping and maintaining of boreholes for a duration of 10 years.
HCWM will drive the implementation and maintenance of the project while, as a funder, Anglo American Platinum will pay for the potable water supplied to the community.
This project has been endorsed by all stakeholders.
The project, which has been successfully piloted at Schiming Village, will deliver 3 500 000 litres per day to the communities.
“Anglo American’s recently launched sustainability strategy highlights the importance of keeping people and the environment safe, and using collaborative regional development to provide sustainable benefits for host communities," comments executive head of corporate affairs at Anglo American Platinum, Seara Mkhabela.
"We believe that this project is completely aligned to those objectives and we relish the opportunity to work together with the Municipality and the Mapela Traditional Authority to find a solution to the water constraints that the region faces.”
“Anglo American Platinum is currently trucking water to some of the 42 villages around Mogalakwena mine in response to the water scarcity challenges and we are pleased to be part of a more sustainable solution,” concludes Mkhabela.
The announcement comes amid National Water Week, a government-led initiative aimed at re-iterating the value of water as well as the need for sustainable management of this scarce resource and the role water plays in eradicating poverty and under-development in South Africa.
In line with this, the Mapela water project will not only contribute towards capacity building but also facilitate black economic empowerment and job creation through the provision of water in the region.