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Nelson Mandela Day 2015: Building a brighter future at Venetia

In honour of Nelson Mandela Day (18 July), and the iconic leader's passion for building better communities, we highlight key education initiatives local to our Venetia mine in Limpopo.

At Anglo American, we are committed to ensuring that the benefits of mining can be seen and felt wherever we operate. 

Throughout our business we have embraced the South African Government’s National Development Plan and, as part of this, our De Beers business has dedicated 60% of its corporate social investment (CSI) projects to education. These education projects help drive South Africa's growth and development by empowering young people to reach their full potential.

Our Venetia mine in Limpopo is at the forefront of our education drive, having partnered with the Department of Education last year to provide infrastructure to 11 schools in the Musina and Blouberg areas.      

Building on this, Venetia has added two more education-based community development programmes this year.

Grootpan Community Crèche

The Grootpan Community Crèche was officially opened in June and provides refuge to children between the ages of four and six years old.

To date, we have donated R2.2 million (US$180,000) to help transform the Grootpan Community Crèche from a small mud structure with outside toilets to a modern Early Childhood Development Centre boasting a borehole, septic tank, furniture and playground facilities.

Now, the centre houses over 60 children and forms an integral part of the community.

Ratanang Special School Hostel

Together with the Limpopo Department of Education and the Minister of Mineral Resources, we helped re-open the Ratanang Special School Hostel at Senwabarwana in Blouberg for children with special needs.

In 2006, we partnered with the Department of Education in Limpopo to help build the hostel facilities at the school, which accommodated more than 320 learners.

Completed in 2010, this venture saw each partner contribute R6 million (US$490,000), resulting in a R12 million (US$975,000) injection into the lives of children who need it most.

Unfortunately, a catastrophic storm ploughed through the area in 2012, and most of the school’s hostel infrastructure was blown away. The renovation work cost close to R7.2 million (US$585,000) to restore the facility.

The re-opening of the school in 2014 brought renewed hope to the community. 

Theo Machaba, who has attended Ratnanang Special School for 15 years, shared that before the hostel was built, children at the school would have to help their teachers convert their classrooms into sleeping quarters at the end of each day. “The conditions at our new hostel are so much better than before,” he said.

Nelson Mandela Day is more than a celebration of one man's life and legacy. It is a global movement with an aim to change the world for the better. At Anglo American, we can play our part through the effective implementation of CSI initiatives - like those mentioned above - improving the quality of life for those living within our host communities.

Find out about our CSI initiatives in South Africa.

Real Mining. Real People. Real Difference.