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December 2011


Kumba Iron Ore recently announce the first maturity Envision, its broad based employee share scheme that has 6 209 permanent employee members. Envision was valued at R2.665-billion at the conclusion of its first phase. This follows a share swap of the Envision Scheme’s 3% shareholding in Sishen Iron Ore Company for the equivalent Kumba shares.

Kumba chief executive, Chris Griffith noted: “Envision is a broad based success story, an empowering initiative and something that we at Kumba, are immensely proud of. Envision sits alongside our diverse broad based empowerment initiatives and sets a benchmark for empowerment goals and ideals in our country”.


Anglo American has taken up the call to create jobs and has committed to creating 25 000 empowerment opportunities in preserved and new jobs with 1 500 companies by 2015.

This will take place mainly in the mining communities in which Anglo American operates and the areas from where the company sources labour. The idea is to work against poverty and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. To achieve this, the company is creating 36 hubs, of which 29 are already in place. It believes that these hubs could actually exceed the employment target and could reach about 28 000 people by 2015.

This was according to Nick van Rensburg, managing director of Anglo American’s Zimele, when he gave the audience at the BHP Billiton Skills Summit held in Pretoria in September an insight into enterprise development and how it can contribute to positive economic growth.

Zimele means “to be independent” or to “stand on one’s own feet” in Zulu and Xhosa. This is exactly what the programme strive to do by creating opportunities for previously disadvantaged South Africans in mainly rural and semi-urban mining communities. It has been so successful at this that today it is one of the best corporate enterprise development programmes in the world.

According to Van Rensburg, Zimele’s business philosophy is to develop and nurture commercially viable and economically sustainable businesses, in particular black economic empowerment (BEE) businesses. “Zimele creates small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are sustainable. We provide capacity building and funding for them.”

Zimele does not merely provide financial support but includes mentorship and guidance. He explains that the deal of Zimele is to bring about independence by developing enterprises. The programme works through four funds – Supply Chain Fund, Communities Fund, Khulu Mining Fund and Olwazini Fund.


Zimele, Anglo American’s enterprise development arm, has launched it fifth fund, known as the Green Fund, which aims to empower and encourage entrepreneurs to operate in the green economy. The fund will target investment opportunities that mitigate carbon, reduce energy and water consumption, and improve waste and emissions management. 

The fund will focus on developing and funding small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that promote and develop environmentally sustainable projects. This will enable communities to both respond to key environmental challenges such as climate change and water security, and take advantage of opportunities in the green economy. It will also create another platform for talented entrepreneurs and SMEs.


More than R120-million is being spent by government in the current financial year on nanotechnology research and development, a clear indication of its commitment to making an impact on nanotechnology development. Deputy Minister of science and technology, Derek Hanekom, said at the opening address at the 4th Annual DST/Mintek Nanotechnology Innovation Centre (NIC) workshop, held recently at the Mintek campus in Randburg.

“The increased levels of funding – a trend that is set to continue – have enabled us to make significant strides in our implementation of the National Nanotechnology Strategy,” he told researchers, students and other stakeholders attending the two-day workshop aptly themed, “Unlocking the future with nanotechnology”.

Hanekom said South Africa was among only a few countries in the world to develop a strategy to guide the nurturing of this emerging research area. “The R30-million that was spent in the 2006/7 financial year has grown to more than R120-million in the current financial year. The continued increase in government spending is indicative of the strongly held belief amongst global communities that nanotechnology has potential,” he added.


South Africa has the potential to be a leader in the fuel cell industry through a technology partnership between government and the private sector.

Speaking at the launch of the Global Business Day in Durban, a COP17 event, Anglo American chief executive, Cynthia Carroll, highlighted the benefits for South Africa if the potential of fuel cells was realised, but stressed the need to accelerate the commercialization if the industry.

“Prioritizing the development of a local fuel cell industry will create many thousands o jobs, provide clean, reliable power for South Africa, and will support the government’s drive for more effective in-country beneficiation. Momentum is building in the global fuel cell market to accelerate the application of this proven and versatile technology. To make south Africa a truly global player, the focus now must be to promote a strong, viable local manufacturing industry that supports the everyday use of fuel cell technology,” Carroll said

South Africa is in a unique position to reap significant benefits from a local fuel cell market. There is strong political support for local beneficiation and clean energy programmes. Fuel cell demonstration projects are under way around the country and it has the necessary manufacturing and engineering expertise. The window of opportunity to make this happen is now,” Carroll said.

Fuel cells are a proven technology, providing clean, reliable and cost-effective power. Platinum-based fuel cells that use hydrogen are versatile, scalable and convert stored hydrogen into electricity with great efficiency.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is one of the challenges of this country. We have to harness the potential of proven renewable technology now in order to accelerate our move into a low carbon economy and we see platinum-based fuel cells playing a significant role,” said Neville Nicolau, chief executive officer of Anglo American Platinum Limited.



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