Mining Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) doesn’t apply here By Mxolisi Dada
In the mist of doom and gloom, juvenile delinquency, corruption and pessimism engulfing the country today. A few dedicated far sighted and life changing icons can still be identified. One such is a gorgeous, intelligent yet humble 35 years old Zoleka Rantsu, a project manager of Regola Mmogo “we grow together”. A Non profit organization operating in the field of HIV/AIDS. Zoleka is openly and positively living with HIV. I went to find out about the work which she and her colleagues are carrying out in the community of Umuzimuhle, Vaal reefs in Orkney.
According to Zoleka, their organization is serving the mining communities and is doing home based care, fighting and managing chronic diseases such as diabetes, TB, HIV and AIDS. The organization identifies its beneficiaries through door to door campaigns, presentations at churches and schools, but most importantly though the Orkney clinic by referrals. The twenty members’ organization is depending entirely from the department of health in terms of the supply of the medical kids for home based care givers and the payment of stipends for its workforce. When asked about the any assistance from the Anglo gold Ashanti this is what Zileka had to say, “Well not really except to say that they at once assisted with the home based care kits, we have countless number of proposals with them. The Anglo gold argues that this place ‘Umuzimuhle’ is made up of at least one employed member of the household, so the company is not obliged to assist because they pay the salary of the owner of the house each month”.
In reality the challenges faced by the organization on a daily basis while they do their home based care services are abject poverty and unemployment especially in the areas were Aurora mining company used to mine, “ we sometimes find ourselves having to take money out of our pockets to contribute to our clients food, and transport, it is sad to see a face of poverty on a person who is sick and needing medical attention”. Said Zoleka.
Having talked to Zoleka improved my perception of the care givers as an extension of primary health care, I believe they deserve better than what their currently worth, The umuzimuhle is a mining community and surrounded by gold mines. The corporate social responsibility should be prioritized in these community, taking cognizance that the Regola Mmogo organization is dealing with sensitive health issues which are largely propelled by the mining sector, the mines which surrounding the this community should be made ware that they have a primary responsibility to invest in organizations and communities dealing with social problems such as Regola mmogo.