Our Business / Social capital
We rely on social relationships and interactions to achieve Merafe’s objectives. We also rely on wider socio-political structures to create a stable society in which we can operate, e.g. government and public services, effective legal systems, trade unions and other organisations.
To enhance our social capital Merafe contributes to open, transparent and fair governance, sources materials ethically and treats suppliers, customers and citizens fairly. We respect and comply with local, national and international law, pay our taxes, invest in the social infrastructure, provide communication, minimise any negative social impacts of the operations we invest in and maximise the positive impacts they can have. We are committed to supporting the development of communities. We expect the same from our investment, the Venture, and monitor its performance in regard to the communities in which it operates. For more information see Social capital in our Integrated Annual Report 2022.
The issues we have identified as being most material to Merafe and the Venture in terms of social capital are the uncertain socio-political environment and the Venture’s social licence to operate.
Social capital is any value added to the activities and economic outputs of an organisation by human relationships, partnerships and cooperation.
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.
To enhance social capital we:
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. The Venture’s operations held formal community stakeholder meetings during the year.
The efforts of the Venture to address the various material issues we have identified that could impact negatively or positively on our key stakeholders involve 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 communities in which the Venture operates play a significant part in our ability to do business.
They provide the Venture with employees who make an important contribution to its success. Most of these communities live in poor, underdeveloped areas of the country. In their frustration at the lack of jobs, facilities and infrastructure they are turning to the mining industry to address their needs. The growing social activism in these communities can, and has had a negative impact on the Venture’s business. The Venture identifies its impact on host communities, both positive and negative, using social and human rights baseline studies and risk assessments. The Venture works closely with communities, government and NGOs to gain multiple perspectives of our impacts and possible impacts with the aim of addressing the concerns of, and our impacts on, the most vulnerable people affected by the Venture’s operations.
The Venture maintains a register of community complaints at every operation and it deals with complaints at operational level.
The engagement between mining companies and the communities in which they operate is becoming increasingly challenging. Mining communities are turning to the mining industry to address poverty, unemployment and the need for basic infrastructure and services.
The Venture’s approach to social and community engagement, sees consultation with communities as an essential part of its approach to doing business, managing risk and addressing the short-, medium- and long-term sustainability of its business and the communities in which it operates. However, the Venture recognises that this engagement requires an ongoing commitment to building relationships, trust and understanding with the communities.