Kumba connects communities through development

Sishen Mine highlights how road infrastructure is bringing freedom of movement to the Kuruman area.

Credit: Kumba Iron Ore

For many rural communities, the challenge of freedom of movement between areas or travel to-and-from regional economic centre is a common issue. The lack of substantial infrastructure development is often the primary reason for communities becoming isolated and young people having to migrate to urban areas in search for better opportunities.

In order to address some of these challenges within its area of influence, Anglo American’s Kumba Iron Ore Sishen Mine, has completed construction upgrades to the Klein Neira – Batlharos Road, situated in Kuruman.

The scope of work carried out on the Klein Neira – Batlharos passage included the upgrading of the road from a gravel to a double-sealed surface and installing multiple stormwater management channels along the 6.4km route. This project is part of the broader work carried out in 2022 on the greater Churchill Road, which spans over 10 km, at a cost of R44-million.

George Benjamin, Corporate Affairs and Social Performance Manager at Sishen Mine, outlines the motivation behind the upgrade: “Upgrading this road was a priority for us. We recognised how it would significantly contribute to the freedom of movement of the surrounding communities. As the proud project founder, our objective is to bring development to our communities and help them thrive. We are very pleased with how the project has turned out and the positive impact it will have on our people’s lives.”

During the construction period, a total of 54 temporary jobs were created as a result of the project. Maletsatsi Manhe, Manager: Roads and Stormwater at Ga-Segonyana Local Municipality expressed positive sentiments about the importance of the project.

He said, “The access link road upgrade was identified as a priority by the community during the February 2014/15 IDP roadshow. The main objective is to link Joe Morolong (Churchill and Batlharos) for easy access to the mines, healthcare facilities and surrounding areas. Also, the goal is to improve road conditions as stated on the Roads and Stormwater Master plan.

“Kumba Iron Ore is one of the mining houses that has supported Ga-Segonyana Local Municipality through its Social and Labour Plan over the years. Such support assists the Municipality in reaching community target requests, as the equitable share and the grants are not sufficient to cover all the needs. We are thankful to Sishen Mine for supporting and partnering with us.”

George Benjamin with the Sishen Mine Corporate Affairs team.