Impact Catalyst, a non-profit company (NPC) and public beneficiation organisation (PBO) founded by Exxaro, Anglo American, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and World Vision South Africa, focuses its collective efforts towards nurturing large-scale, socio-economic development initiatives through public-private partnerships.
Impact Catalyst is an agent for collaboration and builds partnerships across government and corporate South Africa to combine their strengths and contributions to achieve large-scale collective socio-economic impact on a regional scale via the Collaborative Regional Development (CRD) platform. Impact Catalyst is the binding element in all participants of the CRD platform and is therefore able to develop a knowledge base to replicate successes across CRDs.
To this effect, Impact Catalyst has adopted four overarching principles:
- Impact: Deliver positive change aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Collaboration: Institutionalise collaboration in the delivery of such impact.
- Catalyst: Be a catalyst for the implementation of large-scale initiatives.
- Sustainability: The backbone for delivery is funded and managed.
When mining houses pool resources they should technically be able to start projects that could be scaled up in future, to start a new industry that might initially complement and later even replace mining as the primary economic activity in that community.
There are examples of collaboration towards facilitating socio-economic upliftment elsewhere, like in the wine industry in the Western Cape, and in the manufacturing industry. There has also been some collaboration by the manganese mines clustered together in the Northern Cape, but this effort has not been formally acknowledged as such. This makes Impact Catalyst’s collaborative model for sustainable economic development a first in the world
within the mining industry.
As one of the founding members, Exxaro has been pivotal in gaining momentum for the change. Some of the projects that Exxaro is partnering in, include the Community Wi-Fi & Schools Network Connectivity Project in Lephalale, Belfast, Kriel and Matla, where about 37 schools and 14 community centres were identified to deploy the solution, potentially impacting around 42 000 users.
In the environment space Exxaro is partnering in the Social Employment Fund (SEF) Programme. This programme employs 4 120 community members across provinces, to remove alien vegetation, cleaning and greening, farm and environmental management, and community gardens as well as waste collection and recycling, and commodity beneficiation.
Another project in Impact Catalyst’s pipeline is centred around the Mutale Community in Northern Limpopo. Efforts to re-establish the local community economically pursuant to the closure of Exxaro’s Tshikondeni Coal Mine in 2014 have been delayed. Exxaro and Impact Catalyst is assisting subsistence farmers from the area to
become commercially successful. In this regard, twenty-five (25) local farmers, who were initially identified, have already been activated in the supply chain of corporate during the Mutale Agri Project’s pilot phase.
Another forty-seven (47) farmers have since been assessed and will be included in the expansion of this project. There is also an opportunity to develop 300ha of land for citrus and upskill local farmers for the citrus commodity, aligning them for access to markets. The possible job creation for this development includes 200 direct plus 400 induced jobs.
Exxaro is also the leading partner in the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Project in Lephalale, which aims to establish a PPE manufacturing company and create 20 sustainable jobs.
In the waste management sector, there are four projects that Exxaro is partnering in, which includes the stockpile tyres, coal ash, office and landfill waste, to responsibly dispose of the Exxaro waste and execute beneficiation of the waste to create new products/alternative products and drive local economic development within the Lephalale area, aligned to the Exxaro decarbonisation strategy. This project will create 100 jobs for the participation of 60 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) on waste beneficiation.
The other project in collaboration with the Lephalale Local Municipality, is the Waste Landfill Pickers & Buyers Management Project also in Lephalale, where they aim to formalise the waste management pickers and buyers in the landfills, and align them to access markets of recyclers and drive local economic development through technology enablement. The outcomes of the project include the formalisation of the Lephalale Municipality Landfill Market, the improvement of 80 jobs, the creation of an additional 20 jobs, with 10 new SMMEs formalised and supported as well as eight SMMEs improved and supported.
Mzila Mthenjane | Executive Head: Stakeholder Affairs