Residents of Freedom Park near Rustenburg in North West say more needs to be done to develop skills among the youth, to curb growing unemployment in the area. Speaking on the sidelines of Impala Rustenburg’s handover of Social Labour Plan projects, residents say while they welcome the mine ploughing back to the community, many other socio-economic challenges in the area need to be addressed.
Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe attended the handover of the four projects, including the Freedom Park Clinic. The projects are valued at a combined investment of R53 million.
“ We welcome the clinic but we are not happy about the sports grounds. We don’t have jobs and Impala doesn’t care,” says one of the residents.
Another resident says; ” You apply to a mine today they tell you that they want people with experience, who know how to use the machines. But where are we supposed to get that experience, whereas Impala doesn’t educate us about how to do those things.”
The Chief Executive of Impala Rustenburg, Mark Munroe says they have invested over R50 million in projects, including the Freedom Park Clinic.
” These projects are not just symbols of progress, they were the embodiment of or unwavering commitment to the local mine communities and the betterment of the residents’ lives. These projects have been meticulously designed to bring lasting benefits to mine communities around the Impala Rustenburg operations. We are exceptionally proud of that collectively these projects have created over 550 jobs and that’s supported the growth of 150 small, medium and micro enterprises during their construction phase.”
We have officially opened & handed over the Freedom Park Clinic to the Department of Health in the North West Province. This momentous occasion has been made possible by the implementation of the Social & Labour Plan (SLP) by Impala Rustenburg. #InvestSA #InvestingInSAMining pic.twitter.com/2dIIIa04zC
— Gwede Mantashe (@GwedeMantashe1) May 26, 2023