Exxaro partners with local municipality, other miners to establish an EDC for entrepreneurs
Mining News Pro - Diversified miner Exxaro Resources has partnered with the Steve Tshwete local municipality and mining companies Arnot OpCo, Anglo American Coal South Africa and Glencore to establish an enterprise development centre (EDC) for local entrepreneurs in the Mhluzi township, in Middelburg, Mpumalanga.

The establishment of an EDC is one of the local economic development projects Exxaro committed to in its 2013 to 2017 social and labour plan, with Arnot Coal having since become Arnot OpCo.

The EDC provides facilities to conduct business activities and offers developmental interventions and support to boost the township economy and reduce unemployment.

Through engagements with the municipality and other stakeholders, it was established that there was a need for an industrial park in the area.

The municipality’s vision was to build industrial workshop facilities with the objective of housing informal businesses operating within the Mhluzi township.

Exxaro stakeholder affairs executive head Mzila Mthenjane comments that Exxaro “believes that enterprise development can lead to the growth of more small businesses, can provide those entering the job market with opportunities and can ensure the provision of these opportunities are sustainable”.

Mthenjane adds that such ongoing opportunities between government and the private sector “will ensure that our economy is capable of responding to the increased opportunities of a global economic environment”.

Steve Tshwete executive mayor Bagudi Tolo has welcomed the timing of the project, especially considering the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, which has “undoubtedly stalled all forms of economic activity”.

The mayor was joined by executives from the respective mining companies for the launch of the industrial workshops on November 27.

In the first phase, Exxaro and Anglo American Coal South Africa invested R12.2-million for the construction of the seven workshops unveiled last week. Exxaro, through local contractors based in the Mhluzi community, built four of the seven workshops valued at over R7.3-million.

The EDC will develop and support small enterprises that form part of the informal business sector within Steve Tshwete municipality.

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