Anglo American has launched the second phase of its education programme in South Africa in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, doubling the programme’s scope and commitment to improving educational outcomes.

The education programme is integral to Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan which commits the company to a holistic range of goals that are shaping how our stakeholders experience our business. These include how to best create Thriving Communities, by focusing on better health, education and employment opportunities for communities around our operations. Ensuring that all children in Anglo American’s host communities have access to excellent education and training is an essential gateway to tertiary education and will ultimately help increase the employability of young people throughout their working lives.

Over the past four years, the education programme has made good progress in improving the quality of education for 222 000 learners and 3 391 teachers at 109 schools and 110 early childhood development centres – investing more than R100-million per year – within Anglo American’s host communities in South Africa through a partnership with the Department of Basic Education.

“By doubling our investment and targeting specific outcomes, we are going far beyond simply acknowledging the fundamental right of every child to quality education – we are making it happen,” says Nolitha Fakude, chairperson of Anglo American’s management board in South Africa. “Supporting access to better education and school infrastructure, creating sustainable jobs, and contributing to brighter and healthier futures is one of the many ways we are delivering a lasting positive contribution, supporting communities to thrive beyond the life of our mines.

“Our partnerships with the Department of Basic Education and other key stakeholders are fundamental to the success of the programme and the transformational impact we can have as a responsible business.”

The next phase of the programme will see Anglo American investing a further R510-million to support an additional 84 schools and about 80 early childhood development centres in the Limpopo, Northern Cape and North West provinces over the next five years. R110-million of this will be invested in infrastructure to enhance access to quality school infrastructure for learners and teachers.

By 2027, Anglo American will have invested more than R1-billion in improving educational outcomes in South Africa, with the ultimate target for schools in host communities to perform within the top 20% of state schools nationally by 2030.

Angie Motshekga, South Africa’s Minister of Basic Education, says: “South Africa has made great strides in advancing universal access to education over the past 28 years, and our journey must continue through innovative partnerships. The basic education sector is vast and for that reason, we recognise that partnerships are key to resolving some of the challenges we face as a country.

“Therefore, our partnership with Anglo American is a tangible example of what can be achieved when business and government partner to make a lasting difference, especially in education, which is the country’s priority focus.

“The continuation of Anglo American’s impactful education programme makes the company one of the most significant private-sector contributors to South Africa’s education system. This is something we can all be proud of.”