Zimplats believes in building the capacity of our local tertiary institutions to ensure that they continue to produce the right expertise for an increasingly dynamic industry. The Company continued its sponsorship of the Professorial Chair of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ). This initiative is contributing to the development of quality post graduate students in the country and is facilitating research that will benefit the mining industry. In a significant development, the Professor has successfully advocated for the establishment of a School of Earth and Mineral Sciences which will replace the traditional format of the Department of Mining and Metallurgy. To this end the Chamber of Mines (CoMZ) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the UZ that will enable the Professor to actively seek funding to re-equip the newly established School of Earth and Mineral Sciences from members of CoMZ.
Recognising the importance of health and safety within our workplace and communities, Zimplats invests in a number of community programmes in the sphere of health as highlighted below:
• Promoting wellness including awareness and management of HIV/AIDS
• Highlighting the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise in managing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and
• Advocating for malaria prevention through the use of larvicide and residual spraying.
Kadoma General Hospital refurbishment
The company invested in a major community health project where it refurbished Kadoma General Hospital in order to improve healthcare delivery at one of the major referral hospitals in the country. Kadoma General Hospital, built in the pre-independence era, is located in the Mashonaland West Province. The hospital delivers healthcare services to patients in Kadoma urban, Mhondoro and Sanyati rural districts. The hospital has a bed capacity of 200 and an average admissions rate of 150 patients per day. The general hospital had been unable to implement basic asset maintenance over the years thereby compromising its ability to deliver its mandate of providing quality healthcare to its patients. There was no access to potable water and ablution facilities for patients were no longer working.
In order to achieve the objectives of improved healthcare and rehabilitation of dilapidated infrastructure the following work had to be undertaken:
• Restoration of ablutions and water reticulation
• Construction and equipping of new laundry facilities
• Replacement of kitchen equipment
• Resuscitation of the hospital sterilisation system
• Restoration of wood-fired incinerator and installation of a new incineration system for hospital waste
• Provision of an additional ambulance and service vehicle
• Paving of the access road and provision of new pedestrian walkways
• Painting and structural repairs for outpatient department, mother and child unit, paediatrics ward, main theatre, small theatre, maternity ward, and old nurses home
• Construction of new perimeter fence and access control
• Provision of a dental chair and accessories
• Installation of a new solar water heating system.
The project provided an opportunity for six local enterprises on the company’s LEDs programme including three female led LEDs to participate in this project. The LEDs were responsible for project management, structural renovations, road works and plumbing, equipment supplies, steel fabrication and supply of building materials. At peak, the project attracted a labour force of 170 with 80% being drawn from the local community. By refurbishing Kadoma General Hospital, Zimplats has responded to the call for good health and well –being under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 3.
Turf Police Station
Zimplats constructed Turf Police Station in direct response to the communities’ need for security. Turf Town, the employee residential space, has been recognised as the fastest growing town in the country. The new police station should assist in
addressing community concerns around management of petty crimes such as housebreaking and theft. In addition, an MoA was signed between Zimplats and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on Voluntary Principles on Human Rights prior to the construction of the police station.
An 11 km fence has been erected on either side of the Selous/Ngezi highway. A community participatory approach was used to implement the project which will go a long way in ensuring safety of young children as well as the preservation of livestock.
Guided by its Wellness Policy, the Group is committed to developing and promoting sport for its employees and local communities in order to harness the spirit of unity and teamwork within the Group and between the Group and the community while promoting wellness. During the review period, the Company constructed a court that will be used for both netball and basketball. The court expands the range of sports facilities available beyond the Baobab Stadium which is home of the Premier League team, Ngezi Platinum Football Stars (NPS). These facilities are providing a practical channel for talent identification leading to the development of professional athletes while contributing to the enhancement of livelihoods and wellness in the
community. The Company continues to hold the annual CEO’s community football and netball tournaments in which internal company teams compete against community teams as part of efforts aimed at enhancing community relations.
The Mhondoro Ngezi Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT) continues to function effectively and continues to carve a discernible footprint within the community through the establishment of a number of infrastructural development projects which have contributed to the improvement of local livelihoods. To date, the Trust has completed 162 projects in health
and education and drilled more than 20 boreholes enhancing community access to potable water. They have also purchased road maintenance equipment to assist the districts in providing access to decent roads. The CSOT has purchased a 33% shareholding in a poultry company and, in addition to dividends, the Trust also generates income from producer contracts for
poultry and eggs. Surrounding communities participate as out growers and suppliers to the poultry company. Management has been engaging the CSOT on implementation of equity participation in the operating subsidiary by the Trust in a manner similar to the ESOT. Processing of the 10% equity is underway.
Recognising that a healthy community embraces diversity and accepting that all community members have a right to be heard and participate in processes that affect their lives, Zimplats launched a campaign in partnership with the Ministries of Labour and Social Welfare and Health and Child Care and a group called Friends with Albinism in support of people with albinism.
The “BeyondtheSkin” campaign which received three national awards was guided by the following objectives:
• To educate people on what albinism is, address issues of stigma and discrimination and drive acceptance of the integration of people with albinism in all spheres of life
• To facilitate annual distribution of sun protection materials in the form of skin creams, hats, lip balm and, where required, spectacles for people with albinism. The community outreach reached more than 1000 recipients, from the initial target of 500. Through the campaign, the Company managed to engage additional partners who assisted with:
• Skin cancer screening and treatment
• Eye tests and spectacles
• Distribution of sun protection materials