Kumba Iron Ore, a business unit of mining company Anglo American, has invested R32-million in the construction of nine early childhood development centres in South Africa's Northern Cape province.
The early childhood development (ECD) centres were built in partnership with the Northern Cape Education Department in Kagung, Magojaneng, Seoding, Batlharos, Mothibistad, Dithakong, Glen Red, Cassel and Bankhara Bodulong.
Speaking at the hand-over of the centres in Seoding last week, Northern Cape MEC for Education Grizelda Cjiekella said the new centres were proof of the effectiveness of tri-sectoral partnerships between the government, private sector and civil society.
"The onus is upon us to continue to use these ECD centres to plant the seeds of tomorrow and to take charge of our lives and our province as proud, confident and united stakeholders in the education of our nation," Cjiekella said.
The project includes an ECD learnership programme under which six local women will be trained as educators.
"If we want to attract and retain the most skilled employees, and live up to Anglo American's ambition of being the employer of choice, we need to make our people's environment as welcoming as possible," said Kumba Iron Ore chief executive officer, Norman Mbazima.
"Importantly, if they have children, it is our duty to ensure that they have the best access to education possible," Mbazima said.
"We strive to transform the communities we partner with. We understand that real transformation begins with education, which is why we support such important educational programmes such as ECD."