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Cell phones help mines understand community concerns

Anglo American’s Landau and Zibulo collieries have launched a pilot project using cell phones to better understand the perceptions of neighbouring communities. The survey results will be used by the operations to better manage their impact on communities.

As part of the pilot project, sixteen local community members were trained to register survey participants in a door-to-door campaign across Ogies, Phola, Clewer, Mgewane, Schoongezicht, Ackerville and Hlalanikahle communities which are in the jurisdiction of the eMalahleni Local Municipality. In total, 947 community members were registered to participate in the survey. The surveys aim to understand community views on:

Impacts: The mine’s impact, both positively and negatively, on local people and the environment.

Relationships: The nature and quality of the relationship between the mine and the community.

Fairness: The extent to which communities feel the management of the operation listen and respond to their concerns.

Trust and acceptance: The extent to which the community trusts and accepts the mine.

The monthly survey, delivered to the participants’ cell phones – will take place over twelve months.  Wayne Harris, HR manager at Landau, said: “Understanding what communities think of us is essential to building positive relationships. Many of the challenges we face are often a result of misunderstandings. This pilot project will help us much better manage our impacts and engage in more relevant dialogue with the people living near our operations”. Laura Brooks, head of social performance at Anglo American, said: “The ability to understand ‘real-time’ changes in our operating environment is critical to ensure that any risks and opportunities are identified and managed.  If the pilot project is successful, the surveys will be considered for roll-out across other Anglo American sites”.

Once the initial survey data has been analysed, we will plan to provide feedback on the results in response to the issues raised at community forums. Follow Anglo American’s social media channels to stay-up-to-date on progress in the coming months.

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