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According to the steel giant, ArcelorMittal South Africa is conscious of its social duty and the role the company must play in transformation, economic development, and job creation. Especially at a time when communities, our country, and the world as a whole is still fighting to recover from a worldwide pandemic.
ArcelorMittal South Africa stressed that it has policies to hire and use local labour as far as possible in each of its operations.
“While the company cannot dictate the hiring practices of its contractors, they are encouraged to use local labour where practical to fulfil their contractual obligations to the company. ArcelorMittal South Africa maintains a database of local people which contractors can use to source locally based skills,” the company explains in a statement.
Furthermore, ArcelorMittal South Africa affirmed that contracting companies outside Newcastle that provide specialised services employ about 60% local workers. Moreover, the steel manufacturer claims that up to 90% of the labour used by Newcastle-based contracting firms was supplied locally.
In addition, ArcelorMittal South Africa advocated for equitable processes when possibilities occur so that the entire community has a fair chance to participate. As a result, positions cannot be reserved for specific forums or organisations members.
When reflecting on the company’s history of community upliftment through socio-economic development, here are a few examples:
- Free apprenticeship training at local colleges. This is to create much-needed skills and bolster employment opportunities.
- A company-sponsored and supported supplier development programme to grow local SMMEs and create jobs.
- Steel sponsorships to Amajuba College and Qualitas Academy, Hunters Wildlife Preservation and Tugela Pre Vocational School.
- Farming aid to Natal Agri Business to expand a smallholding into a larger-scale farming operation, which has already benefited the community by sharing seedlings with neighbours who are cultivating their own gardens.
Local businesses are willing to allocate sales space at no cost or purchase produce from this community’s farming project. Initially, just twenty people were directly impacted, but plans are in the works to expand the initiative.
- Nearly R3 million was spent on the distribution of 4 722 food parcels to about 23 000 community people across Newcastle’s 34 districts who were left penniless and vulnerable following the province’s civil turmoil earlier this year.
- Sponsorship of a soup kitchen container to local NGO, Silver Spoon, is expected to initially provide daily sustenance to about 500 people per month.
“We are disappointed that there are certain members of our community who seek to disrupt the business rather than work together to ensure our growth so that employment, procurement opportunities, training and skills development and community investment are sustained”.Jacques Kotze, ArcelorMittal South Africa’s Executive Manager; Long products – Downstream
Kotze adds that ArcelorMittal’s attitude has always been one of constructive engagement and collaboration. The company participates in a number of interactions with local forums to address their questions and concerns.
“Our aim has always been to provide hope and uplift our local communities through creating opportunities for long-term development. That’s what transforming tomorrow is all about,” Kotze concludes.
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