Impact study of Impala Platinum Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme : Marula Chrome Project

James, Mlungiseleli Shakespeare (2012-10)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.


The mining industry has had a significant role to play in addressing socio-economic development (SED) issues, such as the high levels of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. For South Africa to be able to eradicate poverty and illiteracy, a collaborative partnership between the government, the mining industry and local mining communities is critical. The Minister of Mineral Resources, Shabangu (2012), has encouraged the mining industry to ensure that corporate social responsibility (CSR) investments make a significant impact on the communities in which the mining companies operate and to stop making CSR a mere exercise in ticking off a scorecard. The Mining Charter states that the mining industry must promote employment and advance social and economic welfare of mining community and the major sending areas. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the impact of the Impala Platinum (Implats) CSR programme, Marula Chrome Project, on the Marula community. The challenges that Implats and the Marula community experienced during the implementation of the project were explored. If the project was to be successful, the key success factors had to be identified. The Marula Chrome Project was commissioned in 2010. The Project created 69 job opportunities during its construction period, and 35 permanent jobs after its completion. A number of SED issues were addressed by the project through skills development and training. The community leaders attended an intensive business principles course, covering the basic principles of mining, business skills and corporate governance. The employees of the project also were empowered with relevant operational and management skills. The project had, by the time of the report, paid out dividends to the value of R20 million to the communities. Two community halls had been built with the amount of R4 million. The dividends were distributed to the six Marula communities, who spent the money obtained in this way for addressing such SED problems as infrastructure, education and enterprise development. This project is one of the few examples of CSR initiatives in South Africa. The researcher hopes that other local mining communities can learn what made this project successful. The findings of the projects show that the community and Implats have managed the challenges faced during the project and have focused on the important issues. Collaborative partnership and leadership is one of the key success factors highlighted. Kinnear and Miles (2009) agree that partnerships and local coordination between the mining industry, the government and the community are vital. Positive outcomes can be achieved by means of community‐driven initiatives. According to CSR scholars such as Muthuri (2012), CSR is a potent force for social change and poverty alleviation. The lack of CSR impact evaluation tools required addressing by Implats and the mining industry. The mining industry and the Department of Mineral Resources should work together on developing an evaluation tool by means of which to measure CSR initiatives. Doing so would assist the mining industry CSR investments to add value and to contribute to the eradication of poverty and illiteracy in the local communities.

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