WATCH: How Glencore is helping grow local capabilities in health, education and business

Published Aug 26, 2022


Mining communities in South Africa are largely rural, historically disadvantaged and vastly under-resourced. But “semigration” to bigger cities is not necessarily the answer to these socio-economic woes. Eco-systemic interventions that are designed to shift the landscape on multiple levels can be the lever for growing local skills, unlocking local opportunities, and promoting local economies to flourish.

Glencore’s systemic community engagement

And what better way to start than by investing in local TVET colleges.

SAINC visited Ehlanzeni TVET College to meet Tshepo Nkosi, an engineering fabrication student and the first in his family to obtain a tertiary education.

With Glencore’s support, the state-of-the-art TVET campus is delivering business and engineering education alongside vocational training. In doing so, it is growing a local skills base to take up employment opportunities with the mines, while at the same time contributing to the NDA’s target of training 30 000 artisans by 2030.

From tertiary education to business incubation, the next stop for the SAINC team was the Steelpoort Entrepreneurship Hub, which provides local small businesses with access to services and training that help them to grow both their financial and operational capacity. Here the team met Sakhile Mogowane from Femipower Supply, and were inspired by her story of passion and resilience. The success of her business, supported by the hub, has been significantly assisted by the opportunities provided by being part of the Glencore supply chain.

Community upliftment often also requires relief services alongside developmental interventions - and Glencore headed the call of the Bethanie community to assist with a new and much-needed health clinic in the area. With an investment of R30 million, a new facility was constructed and handed over to the Department of Health in the North-West. Now community members can access the care they need, while doctors and nurses are fully-equipped to serve their patients in the high-quality, safe and healthy environment they deserve.


Tshepo Nkosi is an engineering fabrication student at Ehlanzeni TVET College. He is the first in his family to study at a tertiary institution - a testament to what can be achieved through hard work, commitment and access to the right education opportunities. Glencore’s R7-million investment into the state-of-the-art Mashishing Campus has created a facility that provides Nkosi and almost 1 000 other students with tuition in engineering and business-related subjects. It also provides the vocational training that will enable them to become the future artisans and engineers of our economy.

And Nkosi has a clear vision of his future. With his diligent focus, he plans to finish his diploma and enrol in university to further his studies in Metallurgical Engineering, making his mother prouder each and every day.

Tebogo Mabelane is Mechanical Engineering student at Ehlanzeni TVET College. She is studying fitting and machining - and loves it passionately. Mabelane is bridging the divide between men and women in the traditional engineering disciplines. She recounts how, without this opportunity, she would likely be a cashier or a cleaner. But now she is determined to one day start her own engineering company and inspire other young women to do any job they choose.

Sakhile Mogowane runs her company, Femipower Supply, at Glencore Lion smelter. This woman-owned business collects samples from the plant for delivery to the lab. Mogowane joined Glencore’s entrepreneurship hub to get the assistance she needed to grow her business. She took part in an SMME training programme on finance, marketing and business management, and was assigned a technical mentor to help her. Mogowane has benefited significantly from the hub’s assistance, which has improved her quality of life, her ability to pay school fees and look after her children, and importantly, to buy new assets for the business so that it can grow and succeed further.

Dr Kasongo works at the Bethanie clinic. While she is dedicated to her patients and their healthcare needs, her work was severely challenged by the poor condition of the clinic and the lack of resources at her disposal. But that was before Glencore engaged with the community and invested R30 million into a new state-of-art facility. Dr Kasongo she now gets to practice in an environment in which she feels she is doing what she was born to do - providing her patients with quality healthcare in a dignified and healthy space.