South Africa’s economy was built on its mineral wealth. Now mining houses are re-investing in the communities that have grown up around their operations. (Image: Brand SA) • Focus on African resources at Mining Indaba • Machel, Blair head to South Africa for Mining Indaba • Working towards sustainable mining • Robots that can save miners’ lives • Johannesburg – from mining camp to big city Sulaiman PhilipMining – and its unparalleled influence on the South African economy – began with the discovery of the Eureka Diamond in 1867. But it was the discovery of a rich seam of gold in 1886 on the Rand that turned the South African economy from largely agricultural to the richest gold mining area in the world within a decade.Fortunes were made and lost on the golden Rand. For the majority of the large pool of labour that travelled to the mining camps that became towns and then cities, however, the mines were just a means to an end. The poorer end of the white labour market saw the riches of the mines as a way to supplement income from farming or to pay tax bills. For African men, labouring on the mines was the fastest way to earn enough to pay lobola and buy a piece of land to farm.Mining is the foundation on which the South African economy was built. Between 1860 and 1910 as a mining-centred economy evolved and old farming and trading traditions died, mining houses used their wealth and political power to create a migrant labour force through the need to pay new taxes or the appropriation of land.Then, in the 1970s Anglo American, through its Urban Foundation, began upgrading education and infrastructure in the townships. And American companies operating in South Africa during apartheid were subject to the Sullivan Code. Devised in 1977, it was a set of principles that compelled American companies to run their South African operations using American human rights and social justice principles.By 1994, as the old political and economic system died, working conditions on the mines for the migrant labour put mining houses in the harsh glare of the resurgent, politically powerful union movement. To the unions, these philanthropic acts were window dressing that did little to change the conditions on mines or alleviate the suffering of communities once operations stopped. Dark villageNaledi Trust is a village of 34 households close to Kroonstad in Free State. Since 2009, the community has been without electricity because it owes Eskom R47 000 – an insignificant amount to the big mining houses, but it might as well be R4-billion as far as the community is concerned.Mohapeloa Komane, the principal of Lovedale Primary School in Naledi, grumbled that lack of electricity made it difficult for her charges to study. “For instance, some homework to do with weather forecasts was difficult to do because they needed to have watched the forecasts on television. But because they had no electricity, they could not get to watch television,” she told the Weekly newspaper.Now, thanks to a world-first project led by Anglo American and its partner, Ballard Power Systems, the lights are on in Naledi. The mining house and the Canadian company are testing a power cell that converts fuel into electricity.Part Anglo corporate social investment (CSI) project and part pilot project, the fuel cells in Naledi use platinum, methanol and hydrogen to generate 15kW of power used for cooking, lighting, televisions and to run the fridges donated by Anglo American Platinum.There are business advantages for Anglo – a cheap, constant power supply not dependent on Eskom – but the Naledi test is also a major programme in the mining house’s CSI unit. If the 12-month test is successful, Anglo will begin to roll out the technology to the 600 000 South African households that Eskom does not reach.For Anglo, if the test phase is successful, the project could lead to the development of a high-tech manufacturing business. A new rural electrification industry means jobs in manufacturing, design and installation maintenance which will support and sustain Anglo mining jobs.But none of this matters to Doko Petrus Mvundle, a 90-year-old resident of Naledi, who simply sees a brighter future for his community: “This electricity will change our lives. I have always hoped that one day the lives of our children and grandchildren will be better than ours.”A 2014 report measuring the performance of listed companies when it came to their spending on CSI found that the mining industry spent the most on CSI programmes. In total, the industry invested R3.9-billion a year on programmes, most of it in communities around their operations. Next Generation’s Reanna Rossouw, a management consultancy, says that companies have started to look at CSI as an investment rather than as a hand-out. “The days of ‘feel good’ programmes are over. Boards want to know how CSI will benefit business.”Tough economic times and the regulatory environment mean companies are looking to measure the effect of their programmes not just in terms of return on investment for shareholders but also in terms of effect on beneficiary communities. Sustainable businessThe mining industry has embraced a new way of doing business. “Organisations have entered a new era of doing business in communities to whom products and services are sold and on whom mining companies depend for future sustainability and profitability. CSI forms an integral part of the sustainable organisation of the future.”Across the group, including its Chairman’s Fund, Anglo American spent R643-million on CSI projects, part of the R50-billion the private sector spends on CSI programmes a year, in 2014. Like other mining houses, the money was invested in projects in education, business development, health, community development, art and culture, and sports development.For Norman Mbazima, the chairman of the fund, the company is investing in the future of the country and the company by helping to build dynamic, enabled communities. By harnessing the company’s strengths and the country’s resources, Anglo American is helping South Africans take control of their lives. “We’re committed to not only being a good corporate citizen but to making a genuine difference in the communities surrounding our operations, and in South African society as a whole. In all our efforts as a company, we work towards delivering sustainable value that makes a real difference now and for the future.”We commit ourselves to building a humane, equitable and caring global society, cognisant of the need for human dignity for all.The South African government enacted legislation after 1994 requiring CSI-linked support for socio-economic development. Legislation like 2002’s Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act changed the environment in which mines operate. It vested ownership of the nation’s mineral wealth in the state an introduced obligations for mining companies that sought prospecting rights or mining licences.After the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, a framework was developed to strengthen the partnership between the government and the private sector. The JPOI (Johannesburg Plan of Implementation) called on industry to contribute towards sustainable development. For mining houses this meant that sustainable development influenced all aspects of their operations, from prospecting to post-closure.After 2002, the International Council on Mining and Metals’ stated objective became a “need to contribute first and foremost towards improvement of the quality of life of the communities in which [mines] operate”.
8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Mozilla just announced that Weave, its official synchronization tool for Firefox, has just hit version 1.0 and is now generally available. Weave is a free browser add-on that can seamlessly sync bookmarks, saved passwords, browsing history and open browser tabs between different computers that run Firefox. Weave also runs on Mozilla’s mobile browser for the Nokia N900.Mozilla announced the Weave project in late 2007. Weave is compatible with Firefox 3.5 and up.Getting Started To use Weave, you have to register for an account with Mozilla. The plugin will automatically prompt you to create this account after the installation. Advanced users who are worried about their privacy can also use their own servers as a repository for their data. It’s worth noting that all of the data you transfer to Mozilla’s servers is encrypted.Weave vs. XMarksOf course, Weave isn’t the only solution for syncing bookmarks and XMarks is currently the most popular bookmark syncing tool. Unlike Weave, XMarks isn’t just compatible with Mozilla’s browsers but also supports Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer. XMarks can sync bookmarks between these browsers.Weave syncs a lot more than just bookmarks, however. Weave also syncs passwords and your browsing history, for example. In future versions, Mozilla also plans to allow users to sync add-ons and other browser customizations. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting frederic lardinois Tags:#Browsers#Product Reviews#web
zoomImage Courtesy: Desgagnés Canadian shipping company Desgagnés christened and launched on April 17 the M/T Mia Desgagnés, the world’s first polar-class dual-fuel oil/chemical tanker. “Desgagnés is very proud to have achieved another world first in only a few short months,” Louis-Marie Beaulieu, the company’s president and CEO, stated, recalling that last May, Desgagnés named the M/T Damia Desgagnés, the very first dual-fuel asphalt-bitumen-chemical tanker.The 135-meter-long Mia Desgagnés is the second in a series of four new product carriers ordered by the company at Besiktas shipyard in Turkey.As informed, the vessel represents an investment of over CAD 50 million, including nearly CAD 9 million for the addition of dual-fuel/LNG motorization.“This is a very significant investment in line with our commitment to reduce our environmental footprint,” Beaulieu added, thanking the Quebec government for its financial contribution of CAD 700,000 under its program to improve transportation efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (PETMAF).The Mia Desgagnés has several sustainable development certifications, including “CLEANSHIPSUPER” and “GREEN PASSPORT”. The tanker is able to run on three different types of fuel, including liquefied natural gas (LNG).With a deadweight capacity of nearly 15,000 tons and tanks with a capacity exceeding 17,000 cubic meters, the Mia Desgagnés will be transporting refined petroleum products or chemicals.The ship, with its double hull and Polar 7 certification, can navigate in ice-laden waters. It is equipped with a variable pitch propeller as well as bow and stern thrusters. Its generators’ power output of over 3 megawatts allows the vessel, through its generator/motor integrated in the propulsion shaft, to reach a cruising speed of up to 7 knots without using the main engine.