Our mission is to unlock value for all our stakeholders, of which our local communities are considered to be one of the most important. We therefore continuously strive to build and improve upon our positive relationships with the communities around our operations.
Our operations are predominantly located in remote areas which have a low level of socio-economic development and high unemployment. The ‘multiplier effect’ which can be applied in Africa means that whilst Petra directly employs 5,502 permanent employees and 3,984 contractors (as at 30 June 2018), a significantly larger number of people are dependent on our operations.
Our community development efforts focus on the following key areas (as identified through our community engagement programmes):
The significant capital that we have committed to extending the lives of our mines will serve to ensure sustainable employment for our workers and contribute to the future viability of the communities surrounding our operations. This is augmented by initiatives such as locally-focused employment and developing local suppliers to a level where they can supply products and services to the operations.
Taking into account the long potential lives of our operations, we focus on investing in long-term projects which will have a lasting positive impact and which address the socio-economic needs of the communities in which we operate. Our approach to corporate social investment is therefore developmental in nature and aimed at creating sustainability in communities beyond the life of active diamond mining.
The success of a number of our social investment projects is dependent on our local communities having the necessary skills to implement and eventually manage them, and Petra therefore aims to provide the required training and advice wherever possible. We also facilitate steering committees to assess, implement, monitor and evaluate the progress of our projects, consisting of our employees, members of the local community and municipality, and other service providers.
Social investment in South Africa is provided in the following areas:
Williamson’s Corporate Social Responsibility Plan, which is informed by the mine’s Stakeholder Engagement Plan, concentrated on the following areas for contribution and support during FY 2018:
Petra considers providing training, education and development to local community members just as important as training its own workforce, as this enables it to not only directly contribute to the economic uplift of the community but also to prepare a pool of potential labour for its operations.
In order to address the scarcity of skills in our local communities, our mines’ involvement starts at a grassroots level, in the form of the maths and science school support programme and the provision of scholarships. This is continued at tertiary education level with opportunities provided through the bursary scheme, the graduate development programme and the provision of practical experience through our experiential training programme.
We believe that local business development is a key component to true sustainability and is core to the economic development of South Africa.
Local businesses face a number of challenges as start-ups often struggle to gain access to grow and expand their businesses. These challenges include access to funding, availability of skills (both management and technical) and access to established supply chains.
At Petra, we address these challenges through our Enterprise Development (“ED”) and Supplier Development (“SD”) programmes, which are rolled out at our operations through our Enterprise Development Resource Centres and monitored through our Group ED structure, working very closely with operational and Group-level procurement.
Each of our South African operations now has an operating Enterprise Development Resource Centre with a full time ED Co-ordinator. This centre serves as a link between local businesses and the mine’s supply chain.
Services offered at the centres include:
The implementation of a consistent and effective stakeholder engagement approach across the Group remains a priority for Petra in order to build on the robust processes covering engagement that we already have in place across the Group.
As part of its strategy to assess and manage its impacts, Petra carried out a full Social Impact Assessment (“SIA”) of its South African operations in FY 2016. However, through ongoing engagement with stakeholders, these impacts are continuously being re-evaluated and reprioritised and planning adjusted accordingly. The SIA has assisted with the identification and assessment of the key stakeholders, impacts, risks and issues across the full life cycle of our South African operations and therefore serves to inform the integrated and comprehensive Stakeholder Management Engagement Plan (“SMEP”), which is in place at each of the operations and for the Company as a whole.
The dynamic process of developing Group and operation SMEPs has been taking place over the last few years and has focused on the ongoing training of relevant officials in the SMEP methodology, the identification and classification of stakeholders, and the development of stakeholder engagement plans.
As part of Petra’s community communications strategy, the Company aims to publish quarterly newsletters at certain of its South African operations where they are considered to be effective. Newsletters are not always the most viable means of updating local people at all operations and, in these instances, communications are often facilitated by the local media and other methods.
Petra is committed to transparency with regards to payments to Governments, both in terms of taxes and royalties, as well as our other areas of significant social expenditure. We support the principles of the ‘Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative’ and ‘Publish what you pay’, given that publishing details of Petra’s tax payments to Governments can help improve community support for its activities.
In FY 2018, the Group paid a total of US$50.9 million in taxes and royalties. It should be noted that our operations are currently subject to varying levels of tax shields, due to the significant level of investment being spent by the Company at each asset. However, as the capital expenditure levels continue to fall from their peak in FY 2016, payments of taxes and royalties are due to rise considerably, in line with the profitability of each operation.
Local community members can submit feedback to Petra Diamonds by emailing: