Sephaku Cement factory.Sephaku doing its job for

Sephaku Cement has affirmed its support for the North West provincial government’s regional job creation and artisan training targets and initiatives.

Pieter Fourie, the chief executive of Sephaku Cement, said yesterday that as it moved into the operational phase of the Aganang plant, the company’s employment numbers would reach 170 people, with an additional 300 employment opportunities created through subcontractors.

The majority of the semi-skilled employees would be recruited from the adjacent communities, he said.

Aganang is an integrated cement plant located in Lichtenburg in the North West and one of two major projects undertaken by Sephaku Cement, a 64 percent-owned subsidiary of Nigeria’s Dangote Cement and an associate of JSE-listed Sephaku Holdings.

The other major project is a milling plant in Delmas, Mpumalanga, where commercial production began in January.

The two projects involved an investment of R3.3 billion. Commissioning of the Aganang plant commenced at the beginning of this year.

Fourie said Sephaku Cement’s project contractor spent about R500 million with local subcontractors during the plant’s construction phase, of which the majority were from the North West.

He added that as Sephaku Cement’s business grew, it would do what was in its power to support the people of the North West and Mpumalanga to make a real difference.

Fourie said the company had to date recruited more than half of the employees at its flagship Aganang plant from local communities, most of whom had never been employed or were unemployed prior to the commencement of the project.

Sephaku Cement’s commitment to job creation and artisan training follows North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo setting a target to create 7 407 job opportunities through infrastructure development, the green economy and social economy during the 2014/15 financial year. Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza is targeting the creation of 78 000 jobs a year over the next five years.

Fourie said Sephaku Cement invested in artisan development while it built its plants and had supported the training of 10 fitters and electricians, of which seven had been employed at Aganang.

The company would also source youth from further education and training colleges in the two regions to build its pool of learners for recruitment.