Sishen Iron Ore Company – Community Development Trust (SIOC-cdt) invests in social impact research with a difference
Established in 2006 by Kumba Iron Ore Limited to invest in the development of the communities in which the company operates, SIOC-cdt derives dividends from its shareholding in the Sishen Iron Ore Company (SIOC) and has spent over R1bn so far in community development projects.
These projects seek to strengthen the communities surrounding its mining activities and ensure that they are sustainable once these mines close.
“SIOC-cdt aims to have a genuine and lasting impact on these communities as a result of its community development projects, rather than relying on metrics such as how much money it has spent or projects it has funded,” says Managing Director of Citizen Surveys, Washeelah Kapery.
SIOC-cdt is active in five local municipalities. Four of these are in the Northern Cape and surround the Sishen Mine in Kathu and Kolomela Mine in Postmasburg. These are the Joe Morolong, Gasegonyana, Gamagara and Tsantsabane local municipalities. While the Thabazimbi Mine in Limpopo was recently sold to ArcellorMittal, SIOC-cdt has legacy projects and thus an obligation to communities within the Thabazimbi Local Municipality.
“We specialise in large-scale national surveys that investigate the perceptions, needs and experiences of South Africans,” continues Kapery, “and we have invested into developing research systems that enable us to provide strategic insights and solutions.”
“SIOC-cdt is in the process of updating its Community Development Strategy for the next five years and wants to ensure that its community development strategies and projects are based on sound research into the needs of the different communities,” says Vusani Malie CEO of SIOC-cdt. “Citizen Surveys will be conducting household surveys with communities, interviews with community leaders and subject experts, and integrating information from other data sources (e.g. Stats SA, municipal IDPs) into the findings. This will create a solid foundation to provide planners with the information they need to prioritize sustainable development projects to offer in a community. In this way, projects can be designed to alleviate real social and economic problems”.
The research will commence in mid-December 2018 and will run until the end of February 2019. Once this research has been completed, SIOC-cdt will make it available to other organisations engaged in social development within these communities.