Mining companies have significant social and economic impacts on local communities, before and during operations, and long past the closure of a mine. Social and Labour Plans (SLP) are a legal requirement for mining companies that operate in South Africa, to outline their commitment to maintaining a positive and sustainable relationship with their surrounding community.
Mining companies mitigate economic impacts on the community through reporting on social performance requires data from multiple sources, often in multiple formats, and at different times with varying degrees of integrity. It’s a constant challenge for social performance practitioners, and often hinders their ability to make timely, strategic decisions.
This article explores four areas that social and labour plans encompass – skills development, mine community development, housing and living conditions, and employment equity – and addresses the challenges social performance practitioners face when collating social performance data.
Mining companies must provide a Skills Development Program outlining how they will enhance the workforce and develop the skills of the local community surrounding their mining operation. Skills Development Programs provide mutual benefit by improving the employment opportunities for the local community which enables long-term growth in their region. This can be achieved through:
For social performance practitioners, tracking candidates and their progress in skills development programs is complex and time-consuming, as data is disparate across human resources, procurement and training systems. By using software that provides real-time insights, social performance practitioners can significantly reduce the time spent consolidating and verifying data, and formulate timely, strategic decisions year-round.
The Employment Equity Plan ensures diversity and participation of at all levels of decision-making and across core occupational categories in the mining industry. The plan also addresses how to protect jobs by requiring companies to consider all viable options before downscaling or closing a site.
Mine Community Development Plans require mining companies to make meaningful contribution to the community through poverty alleviation and infrastructure development programs. Poverty alleviation programs develop local businesses through enterprise and supplier development programs. Infrastructure development programs are linked to health, education, and community services, such as the provision of water and sanitation.
For social performance practitioners, tracking the progress and success of these commitments is critical for communicating and building trust with stakeholders. Achieving this requires a robust and reliable framework to capture and consolidate this information consistently over the life of the plan.
Housing and living conditions must meet a required standard for the mining company’s workforce. As part of the housing and living conditions plan, the Department of Mineral Resources in South Africa requires mining companies to conduct housing and living conditions surveys of their employees and to develop a plan to enable reasonable living conditions, and report on any progress.
Mining companies can achieve this by developing bulk infrastructure and providing either housing allowances or other mechanisms to enable home ownership. However, social performance practitioners must also have information on the different occupational levels and income brackets of their employees, and how this affects More commonly, companies are turning to digital survey tools that provide security of information gathered, long-term access and rapid consolidation of results with other critical plan information.
Developed exclusively for the South African mining industry, Insite provides a complete view of all your social performance data required for your five-year SLP, in a single cloud-based solution.
Insite allows social performance practitioners to automate the collection of social compliance data from numerous sources such as payroll, procurement and training systems, as well as store digital housing surveys. It guides social performance practitioners through a step-by-step process to generate their employment equity results using the most updated EAP statistics maintained in Insite.
Functionality is included in Insite to autogenerate tables and dashboards already aligned to DMRE guidelines, and help companies populate their annual SLP report with ease.
With Insite, mining companies can have a far greater understanding of their own data, which they can use to build up a comprehensive workforce plan and proactively manage the impact of their skills development programs.