Windhoek — Mining giant Anglo American is patting itself on the back for the funds apportioned to projects when the mining company still had direct interests in the Namibian mining sector. These include commitments of N$19 million in 2009 and a further N$24 million in 2010 to the Anglo American Namibia Foundation.
Anglo American sold its Zinc portfolio in December 2010, which included the sale of Skorpion Zinc in the Karas Region, in the south of the country. The Anglo American Namibia Foundation (AANF) was established to support disadvantaged communities in southern Namibia, by supporting programmes, projects and services that are focused mainly on education, health and entrepreneurial development.
"Anglo-American firmly believes in responsible stewardship throughout the mining lifecycle, from exploration through to operation, and finally to closure or in some instances, divestment. The work that the foundation has completed in the form of development projects will ultimately ensure that previous host communities will continue to socially and materially develop for the better, despite the fact that our company no longer operates there," said chairperson of the Foundation, David Bentley.
Anglo-American has been making headlines worldwide after its public clash with the South African ruling party, the ANC, over the company's plans to pull the plug on some of its mining operations and over tax proposals from the ruling party. Among the initiatives that the Anglo- American Namibia Foundation funded in the Karas Region is the U-OA Mathematics project.
This initiative aims to train teachers through a series of workshops, and subsequently to use them as mentors. When the model is fully operational, each learning group will eventually take responsibility for continuous teacher development. The AANF has also given a grant of N$679 000 to the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) artisan training school, which was directed towards the completion of a multi-purpose hall and a ladies' hostel, as well as the establishment of a training workshop for bricklaying and plastering.
"Anglo-American understands that Namibian communities are still in urgent need of support in crucial areas such as health, education, HIV/AIDS and social development," he said, adding that the company is committed to providing continued investments in sustainability projects in the region where their operations used to be in Namibia.