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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Anglo-American doubles education investment to over R1bn

ANGLO American has launched the second phase of its education programme in South Africa in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, doubling the programme’s scope and commitment to improving educational outcomes.

The education programme is integral to Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan which commits the company to a holistic range of goals that are shaping how our stakeholders experience our business.

These include how to best create Thriving Communities, by focusing on better health, education and employment opportunities for communities around our operations. Ensuring that all children in Anglo American’s host communities have access to excellent education and training is an essential gateway to tertiary education and will ultimately help increase the employability of young people throughout their working lives.

Over the past four years, the education programme has made good progress in improving the quality of education for 222 000 learners and 3 391 teachers at 109 schools and 110 early childhood development centres – investing more than R100-million per year – within Anglo American’s host communities in South Africa through a partnership with the Department of Basic Education.

“By doubling our investment and targeting specific outcomes, we are going far beyond simply acknowledging the fundamental right of every child to quality education – we are making it happen,” says Nolitha Fakude, chairperson of Anglo American’s management board in South Africa.

“Supporting access to better education and school infrastructure, creating sustainable jobs, and contributing to brighter and healthier futures is one of the many ways we are delivering a lasting positive contribution, supporting communities to thrive beyond the life of our mines.

“Our partnerships with the Department of Basic Education and other key stakeholders are fundamental to the success of the programme and the transformational impact we can have as a responsible business.”

The next phase of the programme will see Anglo American investing a further R510-million to support an additional 84 schools and about 80 early childhood development centres in the Limpopo, Northern Cape and North West provinces over the next five years. R110-million of this will be invested in infrastructure to enhance access to quality school infrastructure for learners and teachers.

By 2027, Anglo American will have invested more than R1-billion in improving educational outcomes in South Africa, with the ultimate target for schools in host communities to perform within the top 20% of state schools nationally by 2030.

Angie Motshekga, South Africa’s Minister of Basic Education, says: “South Africa has made great strides in advancing universal access to education over the past 28 years, and our journey must continue through innovative partnerships. The basic education sector is vast and for that reason, we recognise that partnerships are key to resolving some of the challenges we face as a country.

“Therefore, our partnership with Anglo American is a tangible example of what can be achieved when business and government partner to make a lasting difference, especially in education, which is the country’s priority focus.

“The continuation of Anglo American’s impactful education programme makes the company one of the most significant private-sector contributors to South Africa’s education system. This is something we can all be proud of.”

Anglo American global education and community skills head Zaheera Soomar says the company is looking forward to building on its success by focusing on developing well-rounded learners who can navigate the exciting future ahead of them.

“This can only be done if we get the fundamentals right while also supporting them to develop the skills of the future wherever they may be.”

Going forward, the miner will invest in several initiatives, including infrastructure upgrades, information and communications technology, learner and parent support initiatives, career guidance, nutrition and food gardens, afterschool programmes and sporting activities in the selected schools.

The programme has also set new learner-focused targets, including that 90% of learners aged five meet the minimum requirements for school readiness, that 90% of grade 3 learners pass with at least 50% in numeracy and literacy, and that 75% of grade 6 learners pass with at least 50% in mathematics and English as a first additional language.

In addition, Anglo American has also set the target of achieving a 90% matriculation pass rate, with a 50% university entrance, and getting 65% of grade 12 learners to pass with at least 50% in mathematics.

ITONLINE with additional reporting by Inside Education

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