An improved approach to community engagement at South Deep
In 2017, the South Deep Community Relations team in South Africa introduced an innovative open day format for improved community engagement. In the past at typical mass meetings, some more dominant community members drove the conversations, while others were never heard.
At the open days, which will continue in 2018, community members can now ask questions and share ideas one-on-one or as a small group with a representative from Gold Fields HR, Community Relations, Environment or other relevant South Deep departments.
The open days held so far have given the team much deeper insight into community views and concerns, notes Harmony Ntlemo, Unit Manager Sustainable Development. “We have noticed a shift in the kind of information our communities would like from us. They are looking for a relationship with the mine based on shared understanding, and they want to be involved in our processes.”
Community members have commended the mine on the new format. “Thank you Gold Fields for coming up with a creative initiative where we have an opportunity to interact with the mine,” says Podesta Rammutle who lives in Simunye. “This empowers women and the disadvantaged who were afraid to raise their views in public.”
“As a facilitator, I observed positive engagements, meaningful discussions, attentive officials, and broad-based community representation.” Mariette Liefferink, CEO of NGO, Federation for a Sustainable Environment
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