Canyon Coal subscribes to a culture of adding value by creating opportunities for local individuals and enterprises in which it operates. Social Licencing Manager, XOLILE MANKAYI, explains that this approach is helping to improve lives and grow the overall economy through beneficial and profitable business partnerships. Compiled by GERARD PETER.
Canyon’s current operations comprise Khanye, Phalanndwa (and Phalanndwa Extension). Phalanndwa Colliery and Phalanndwa Extension are in Delmas, Mpumalanga and Khanye Colliery in Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng.
All produce a bituminous product that is used for local consumption and export markets. In addition to having operational mines, Canyon also has an active exploration portfolio that aims to unlock potential resources.
In 2018, Canyon established its social licencing unit with the objective of supporting community development projects. One of the core focus areas has been creating partnerships with local companies that are owned by residents within the host communities surrounding our mines.
“By integrating community members into our supply chain, we hope to indirectly create job opportunities beyond those we offer at our mines,” Mankayi adds.
Some of Canyon’s local contractors include companies such as Kgaditse Prestige Events, a black women-owned catering business located in Bronkhorstspruit, Phangs Logistics that provides coal transportation services and Malefo Mining Services which is in Delmas near Phalanndwa Colliery among others. The company also works with local suppliers for other areas including waste management, coal hauling and transportation.
Canyon Coal: SLPs benefit all stakeholders
In addition, Canyon’s social and labour plans (SLPs), drafted with input from communities serve as a roadmap on how best the company can support development. “The social licencing team ensures that we are always in communication with local stakeholders and beneficiaries of our various social upliftment projects,” Mankayi states.
Khanye’s five-year SLP plan, which will soon come to an end, has tremendously benefitted the community of Bronkhorstspruit. Mankayi explains that the mine achieved more than 90% of all the intended projects. In August the mine hosted a public engagement roadshow to update surrounding communities about the progress made.
“The public engagement meetings were aimed at updating the community on the progress of 2017-2021 SLP projects and get their input on the draft SLP for 2022-2026,” says Mankayi.
Under the previous SLP the company helped to create 566 jobs (through internal opportunities and contractors), 95 skills training opportunities, 10 learnerships, eight internships and seven bursaries. The company is also proud that 100% of the companies providing coal hauling and staff transportation services at Khanye are locally sourced.
Canyon has also made a meaningful impact on communities at its two other operations. Gugulethu Colliery, a new operation, created more than 86 jobs within the first five months of construction. Mankayi anticipates that 400 jobs will be created when the mine reaches steady production.
“This year we also managed to host a procurement day to meet local businesses as a way of familiarising them with how we work and assisting them to get on the company’s database.
“The team at Gugulethu has also begun to identify skills gaps in the community which we hope to address through training opportunities in future,” he adds.
Canyon’s Phalanndwa operation has delivered a number of benefits to the host community, which include job creation, learnerships and internships. Phalanndwa invested more than R3,7 million to purchase a property in Middelburg which will be refurbished and turned into a place of safety for young boys.
The property is situated close to its Singani and Phalanndwa operations and will be the second centre to be launched through Canyon’s support after it opened the Bonginhlanhla Stimulation Centre in 2021.
The company has also partnered with local companies through initiatives such as the opening of a hydraulic workshop at Phalanndwa and the awarding of the mine’s canteen contract to Khethowakho Trading and Projects, which is a local women-owned business.
Mankayi emphasises that the opportunity to positively impact lives in host communities is something that is not taken lightly by the company. “Over the years, we have strengthened our focus on supporting skills development, local enterprise development and the creation of employment opportunities.
“The success of these projects is partly dependent on the relationships we have managed to build with communities through constant consultations and Canyon’s investment,” he concludes.