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550,000 pounds of toothpaste - 2.5 million tubes - are used; enough to fill a small jetliner. (calcium carbonate, zeolites, trona, clays, silica)

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The company recognises that community activities are an integral part of doing business on the continent. The majority of our community engagement activities are conducted through our social responsibility vehicle, the Chairman’s Fund. We actively engage in dialogue and consultation with local communities to define and prioritise specific initiatives.

Education is one of the central pillars of our engagement with communities. Our established operations provide on-site primary school education for the children of our employees. Where local children are identified as having strong academic potential, the Chairman’s Fund provides scholarships for secondary school and higher education institutions.

One of our most important achievements to date has been the conversion of the decommissioned mine site of Pangane into a teacher training college. The old office blocks have been transformed into classrooms and the college now has 38 training staff and 435 students.

The company is also proud of its sponsorship of a local soccer team called ‘Shabs Stars’ and its meteoric rise to the Second Division in Zimbabwe.

The successful partnership between the government and people of Matabeland South, and the local branch of the international, not-for-profit federation, Humana – People to People is an example of what can be achieved when various stakeholders work towards the common good.

Engaging local communities

Vumbachikwe continues to develop its positive relationship with the Gwanda communities to address the developmental needs of these communities. Through the Vumbachikwe Foundation, we have set up a Community Development Forum represented by five (5) tribal authorities, which facilitates the discussion and resolution of stakeholder issues affecting the community.

Our Community Relations Policy

Our Community Relations Policy has been promulgated by the Vumbachikwe Board of Directors and continues to have Board oversight.

Our goal is to build enduring relationships with the Gwanda communities. These relationships are characterised by mutual respect, active partnership and long-term commitment.

Our commitment:

We will:

Ensure that all our employees have a common understanding of the policy;

Work with our contractors and suppliers to ensure adherence to this policy;

Maintain and develop the Vumbachikwe Foundation to assist local communities to become self reliant;

Establish and maintain a mutually acceptable process of consultation and engagement, which promotes consensus in the community towards a common vision and actions aimed at continuous improvement;

Conduct regular 'baseline community assessments' to ensure up-to-date information is available on social issues and economic development needs;

Facilitate the development of Gwanda communities and labour to promote self sufficiency and independence;

Work with the Gwanda Community Trust to achieve its objectives;

Develop and implement a cultural heritage management system.

Our responsibility

Develop the necessary skills in our employees to deal effectively with community relations;

Integrate the policy implementation into our long-term objectives and company plans;

Benchmark our practice through information exchange within the Group using local and international best practices;

Establish and maintain the communities' complaints, dispute and grievance procedure

Our systems:

Implement an appropriate structure to manage community relations and development;

Perform multi-year planning for community relations and initiatives;

Develop and maintain a cultural and socio-economic database of the Gwanda community;

Perform a Social Risk Analysis; Social Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment;

Establish quantifiable and appropriate reporting mechanisms;

Establish a Monitoring and Evaluation system to enable an empirical impact evaluation over a predetermined period for community projects.

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