Gold Fields hands over R27m Westonaria housing project
Johannesburg, 1 December 2014: Gold Fields Limited (Gold Fields) (JSE, NYSE, NASDAQ Dubai: GFI) is pleased to announce that it yesterday handed over 150 subsidised housing units to the Westonaria Local Municipality and the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements.
The housing development - the Westonaria Borwa Community Construction Contract – is a partnership between Gold Fields and the Westonaria local municipality and is part of the Westonaria Service Delivery Improvement Plan. The settlement is located near Gold Fields’ South Deep mine on the West Rand.
Gold Fields not only funded the 150 units for a total consideration of R27.4 million, but also project managed the development. The 150 two-bedroom houses will be assigned to members of the community by the Westonaria local municipality in accordance with normal government procedures of identifying and creating a waiting list of beneficiaries. Gold Fields has however made a special request for priority to be given to vulnerable groups already on the waiting list. These include the elderly, disabled individuals or child-headed homes. Through the fully serviced units, the Borwa community will have access to amenities such as electricity and running water.
Gold Fields’ 150 homes are part of a 1,200 home development at Westonaria Borwa – an initiative by the national and local government to uplift Bekkersdal, following violent service delivery protests in the area over the past two years. Gold Fields, together with Sibanye Gold, has also donated a piece of land and committed to building a 28-classroom school for the community of Bekkersdal over the next few years.
Labour for the Gold Fields housing project was sourced from local communities within the surrounding areas for the construction of the homes and 220 new jobs were created for a period of almost 24 months. Formal training courses in basic building, given to each contract worker, included brick laying, plumbing, tiling and carpentry. A life skills training course provided labourers with expertise, approaches and insights, including time management, numerical skills, working effectively with others, personal finances, HIV related training, and business concepts. Such training adds to the sustainability of community upliftment by enhancing labourer’s opportunities of finding permanent employment.
Commenting on the impact of the project, Nico Muller, Executive Vice President for Gold Fields’s South Africa region, said: “This project has made a meaningful contribution to job creation, upliftment of local communities, poverty alleviation and empowerment. Lack of service delivery has long troubled the Bekkersdal community and Gold Fields saw this as an opportunity for business to work in partnership with the Westonaria local municipality and directly assist community improvement in the area. It has been a pleasure working with the local municipality and we look forward to future engagement and collaboration.”
Other SLP projects that Gold Fields is currently involved in include the R4 million restoration of the historic Healdtown College building near Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape, as well as the reconstruction of dilapidated homes in Poortje, near South Deep, where thirteen elderly residents had been waiting for year for decent housing. The houses, re-built at a cost of R1,4 million were handed over to their new owners on 20 November 2014. These two projects resulted in about 20 construction jobs being created, of which the vast majority were sourced from local communities.
Tel: +27 11 562-9763
Mobile: +27 83 260 9279
email : Sven.Lunsche@goldfields.co.za
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