Social capital and stakeholder responsiveness

Social Capital is any value added to the activities and economic outputs of an organisation by human relationships, partnerships and cooperation.

  • Our social licence to operate
  • Uncertainty of the socio-political environment. Organisations rely on social relationships and interactions to achieve their objectives. Externally, social structures help create a climate of consent or a licence to operate, in which trade and the wider functions of society are possible. Organisations also rely on wider socio-political structures to create a stable society in which to operate, e.g. government and public services, effective legal systems, trade unions and other organisations.

Being responsive to stakeholders enables the Venture to:

  • contribute to open, transparent and fair governance;
  • source materials ethically and treat suppliers, customers and citizens fairly;
  • respect and comply with local, national and international law;
  • pay our taxes;
  • invest in the social infrastructure;
  • provide communication;
  • minimise any negative social impacts on our operations and maximise the positive impacts they can have; and
  • support the development of the communities in which the Venture operates.

The stakeholders most affected by the ability of Merafe and the Venture to keep our employees safe and healthy are their families and dependants.

  • giving employees and community members access to training, development and lifelong learning, and capturing and sharing knowledge;
  • ensuring adequate safety arrangements are in place; and
  • incentives and remuneration.


The Venture spent

R96 million

on corporate social investment
(2022: R121 million)

The Venture spent

R20 million

on Enterprise Development in 2023
(2022: R19 million)


capital and consumable procurement spend of the Venture was B-BBEE spend
(2022: 64%)

The Venture total procurement spend was

R28.3 billion

(2022: R28.2 billion)


services procurement spend of the Venture was B-BBEE spend
(2022: 61%)

Corporate social investment

The Venture

The Venture’s corporate social investment (CSI) spend for the 12-month period to December 2023 was R96 million (2022: R121 million). Merafe contributes to 20.5% of this spend.

This included expenditure on inter alia Enterprise and Job Creation Projects, Education and skills development, Social and Community Development Projects, Health and Wellness Projects, strengthening of local institutions and Culture and Art Projects.

The Venture projects includes:

  • Supporting TVET College in Mashishing with the construction of an additional eight lecture rooms
  • Infrastructure projects include, community halls in Ga-makua and community crèches
  • Upgrade of road infrastructure in Steelpoort
  • Building classrooms for Rustenburg Primary School
  • Estralita Centre for the disabled In Lydenburg
  • Solar Infrastructure at House Sering
  • Collaborative project in Limpopo is the rebuild of the steel bridge
  • Ongoing project of electrification for 1 800 homes in Steelpoort
  • Expansion of the power station in Ikemeleng
  • Building of the Tshukudu multi-purpose centre
  • Our ongoing sanitary towel donation drive has enabled more than 11 721 girls in three provinces to stay in school during their menstruation


The Merafe CSI spend in 2023 was R2.2 million in addition to its contribution (20.5%) of the Venture’s CSI spend referred to above.

Merafe has been supporting both Meriti Secondary School (Meriti) and Boitekong Secondary School (Boitekong) with the implementation of a variety of infrastructure, curriculum and social welfare projects through Adopt-a-School Foundation (the Foundation). Both schools are in the North West province and are situated within communities that are characterised by poverty, violence, crime, alcohol and substance abuse, family disorganisation and despair. These structural impediments have infiltrated themselves into the school environment as identified by the projects and affect the normal functioning of teaching and learning within the schools. The projects are facilitated to address these problems, hence engagement of all stakeholders including learners, educators, service providers from the community, and parents.

In 2023, the projects included Health, Sanitation and Sexuality Education projects, Moral Regeneration Projects and Psychosocial Support Services implemented across both schools. The third and final stage of these projects was completed in October 2023. The greatest achievement of this project has been to see the change in mindset and attitudes of our learners, which has been reflected in how they engage with their learning and learning environment.

Health, Sanitation and Sexuality Education Projects: The aim and objectives of the Health, Sanitation and Sexuality Education project is to provide a conducive space and platform to educate and empower teenagers (both female and male learners) in schools, to make informed decisions relating to sexual relations in order to curb teenage pregnancy at schools. The programme involves learners as active participants (led by Peer Educators) with the support of educators, parents, and relevant stakeholders within the community.

Moral Regeneration Project: Social ills and violence at communities and schools continue to have an impact on the children’s well-being and their learning opportunity. The overall goal of the project is to engage learners in dialogue sessions on issues pertaining to sound morals and values (address issues of violence), and help learners develop social, ethical, emotional, physical, and cognitive competencies to enable them to set personal goals, as well as participate in the creation of a conducive learning environment.

Psychosocial Support Services: To address the needs of vulnerable learners at school, Psychosocial Support has been added to the projects. The service provider, Hartbeespoort Parent and Child Counselling Centre provides Psychosocial Support services to learners as an addition to the project. The process involves the identification of learners with social problems and creates sustainable referral pathways with external stakeholders, including follow up of all referred cases.

In addition, in 2023, Merafe also supported various education programmes at the schools, including educator development (in mathematics, physical and life sciences) and supplementary lessons in mathematics, physical and life sciences for learners.

Enterprise development

The Venture

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a key role in job creation in South Africa, and our investment in their development is an integral part of Merafe and the Venture's contribution to the socio-economic capacity of communities. It also increases our ability to procure from black-owned enterprises. The Venture has enterprise development commitments in terms of the Mining Charter Scorecard. The Venture spent R20 million (2022: R19 million) on enterprise development in 2023.

In partnership with AgriSETA Accredited Short Learning Programmes we have trained farmers in Animal Health, Poultry, Cattle and Vegetable farming.

The Venture is further playing a pivotal role in the establishment of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Steelpoort.


Merafe has invested R14 million to establish an enterprise and supplier development fund, which supports SMEs through responsible investment to promote the growth and sustainability of black suppliers. Merafe has partnered with a service provider to identify black SMEs in local communities to support through various enterprise development funding initiatives.

Skills development and job creation

The Venture

The Venture recognises its commitment to employing local people whenever possible, which benefits both the Venture and the local communities. Direct employment at the Venture’s operations, indirect employment through contractors, and using local suppliers provide an income for thousands of families.

Our commitment to employing local people includes providing training opportunities and skills development that enable community members to meet the Venture’s competency requirements.

Our community portable skills development assisted 634 unemployed youths with skills in various areas like road work repairs, brick making, plumbing, baking, basic computer skills, and beauty and cosmetic skills which will give them the opportunity to pursue employment as an entrepreneur. We further introduced solar panel installation and maintenance and are training emerging entrepreneurs at our local business incubation hubs as well as at the Gordon Institute of Business Science.

See the stakeholder engagement table for a review of stakeholder engagement.

See our website for further information on governance, social and environmental performance of the Venture and Merafe as well as externally developed principles, charters and initiatives to which Merafe and the Venture subscribe.


Merafe is committed to empowering the future generation through our comprehensive bursary programme. In 2023, Merafe sponsored three black female beneficiaries studying for degrees in the engineering field.

The bursary programme offers holistic support, including financial aid, mentorship, and career and soft skills development throughout the student's academic journey.

In addition to the above, Merafe sponsored a short skill learning programme with The Hope Factory for black unemployed female beneficiaries. The Short Skills Programme is SETA‑accredited and aims to equip individuals with entrepreneurial knowledge and skills.


The Venture’s performance in terms of the discretionary procurement targets of the Mining Charter Scorecard is set out below:

In terms of the new Mining Charter, procurement spend by the Venture for 2023 was approximately R28.3 billion. Of this R19.47 billion was on discretionary spend. R8.63 billion of the discretionary spend was on mining goods (57.98% B-BBEE spend) and R10.84 billion on services (60.38% B-BBEE spend).

  Total procurement
Capital + Consumables (Mining Goods) 8 851 189 136 223 690 347 8 627 498 789 5 001 921 081 57.98
Services 19 439 126 335 8 596 259 085 10 842 867 250 6 547 123 942 60.38
Total 28 290 315 471 8 819 949 432 19 470 366 039 11 549 045 023  

* B-BBEE spend as a % of discretionary spend.

Public health and HIV and Aids

The Venture favours a united approach to public health, whereby we collaborate with government, international organisations and NGOs to make the most impact at community level. The public-private partnerships formed by the Venture provide communities access to prevention, treatment and care for HIV and Aids as well as other communicable and associated diseases.

The Venture supports the government’s HIV counselling and treatment campaign by providing funding and testing sites. It has also funded health clinics and hospices in the communities in which it operates, including an HIV and Aids clinic in Lydenburg in Mpumalanga province. There is also a health clinic at the Lion ferrochrome plant in Limpopo province.

Respecting the rights of communities

Neither Merafe nor the Venture tolerate any form of discrimination and our policies clearly state that we do not tolerate any form of discrimination, and that all our employees and stakeholders are to be treated with dignity and in a manner that is culturally appropriate, irrespective of gender, background or race.

Human rights and ethics

Merafe subscribes to the fundamental principles of human rights as enshrined in our country’s Constitution and Bill of Rights. Our policies and practices have been aligned with both to ensure that all our employees and stakeholders are treated with dignity and in a manner that is culturally appropriate, irrespective of gender, background or race. Furthermore, Glencore is a signatory to and has accepted the Voluntary Principles of Security and Human Rights.


The Merafe Code of Ethics governs the way we do business and the way our directors and employees engage with our stakeholders. The Code, which is binding on our directors, employees and contractors, provides guidelines for behaviour which is above reproach.

Merafe has a formal whistleblowing policy in place for the confidential reporting of any breaches of its Code of Ethics Policy. There were no reports of any breaches in 2023.

Traditional authorities

Merafe supports the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and upholds the performance expectations associated with Traditional Authorities. Our engagements with Traditional Authorities around our operations assisted the Venture in enhancing transparency, resolving complaints and grievances promptly, and embedding cooperation with doorstep communities.

Stakeholder responsiveness

Merafe and the Venture address material issues we have identified that could impact negatively or positively on our key stakeholders. These stakeholders include national, provincial and local government in their roles as regulators and partners; the trade unions in their role as representatives of the Venture’s employees who are from local communities; and our investors and business partners who are affected by all aspects of our business. The impact of our most material issues in regard to the Human, Natural, Social and Manufactured Capitals on our stakeholders, together with our responsiveness on these issues, is outlined in this report.

While Merafe has direct relationships with certain key stakeholders in connection with community matters, we also have indirect relationships through our partnership with Glencore in the Venture. As managers of the Venture’s day-to-day operations, Glencore takes responsibility for engaging with the Venture’s stakeholders.

All the Venture’s operations and projects are expected to review the stakeholder engagement plans every year which includes Traditional Authorities. The Venture’s operations held formal community stakeholder meetings where possible during the year. Virtual engagements continued during periods of lockdown.

Our corporate social investment and social labour plans are aligned to the objectives outlined in the 2030 UNSDGs, the National Development Plan for South Africa and the Integrated Development Plans for Local Municipalities.

All the Venture’s operations and projects are expected to review the stakeholder engagement plans every year. The Venture’s operations held formal community stakeholder meetings during the year.