Mining & Industry News
19 July 2019

Anglo American Platinum has been making great progress in its plan to address some of the water challenges in the Greater Mapela Region, near its Mogalakwena mine in Limpopo, with 42 villages now benefitting from the water infrastructure development project.

Limpopo Province is currently experiencing water challenges which have led to major constraints on the ability of Government, and in turn, that of the Mogalakwena Local 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, in which the communities hold a 30% stake through a trust, is responsible for increasing the water supply capacity through drilling, equipping and maintaining of boreholes for a duration of 10 years.

The mining company, in turn, pays for the potable water. After a successful pilot project at Schiming village, HCWM now supplies 3.5 million litres of potable water to the 42 villages around Mogalakwena, which are home to about 100,000 people.

Work continues on the distribution network, with the goal of ensuring that no household in the area will ultimately be further than 200 metres away from a tap.

Anglo American Platinum previously trucked water to some of the villages around the mine in response to the water scarcity challenges. “We are pleased to be part of a more sustainable solution,” said Seara Mkhabela, the company’s executive head of corporate affairs.

The initiative, which was launched last year, is in line with Anglo American’s Sustainability Strategy, which includes a commitment to reduce freshwater abstraction by 50% in water-scarce regions.  
In addition to providing potable water to households, HCWM has enabled some residents to start successful vegetable gardens, while others now have access to water for cattle and goats.

A headman in Ga-Lelaka village, Joseph Lelaka, recently talked about the significant positive impact of HCWM’s efforts. “We used to go three to four weeks without water and, when the mining company came to our rescue, we all stood up to defend the project – even against those who put business interests before the community’s.

We really appreciate what Anglo American Platinum has done for us – making it easier for the members of the community, most of whom were spending money on water that should have been spent on food.” 

Given the success of the project, it may prove to be a viable option for other municipalities in Limpopo.

Anglo American Platinum press release, 26 July 2019

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