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 employs a total of 4,895 employees and contractors (as at 30 June 2021), 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 SEP, concentrated on the following areas for contribution and support during FY 2021:
Once the mine is no longer in care and maintenance, a formal CSR plan will be developed for implementation in FY 2022.
Restorative Justice in Tanzania
As part of the actions taken in response to the findings of the Tunajali Committee into the alleged breaches of human rights at the Williamson mine (read more on pages 21 and 22), Petra has committed funds to community initiatives that aim to provide sustainable benefits through income generating projects. Shortly after Year end, PDL paid in excess of £1 million into an escrow account to fund these restorative programmes. Synergy has been formally appointed to manage these funds and they will work closely with the communities and local NGOs on the formulation and implementation of the programmes identified as part of the settlement agreement.
These projects include:
For all the restorative projects listed above, PDL and WDL will work with the surrounding communities and local NGOs to investigate their feasibility and, where feasible, to support the design and implementation of these projects. Where projects are deemed not feasible or not applicable to the needs of the surrounding communities, alternative projects will be identified and implemented with the approval and participation of all relevant parties.
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.
Our objective is to standardise processes and our stakeholder management approach and provide stakeholder relationship owners with the required management framework and we have made significant headway in fulfilling this.
The Company uses a software system, IsoMetrix Social Management, to capture, profile, schedule and manage engagement, as well as carry out the required reporting.
Ongoing communication with our stakeholders is the most critical part of our Stakeholder Engagement and Management process. In addition to face-to-face meetings and forums, we use a variety of suitable channels and media, including printed, broadcast and social media. While our social media accounts, such as Facebook and Instagram, are playing an increasingly important role in this, quarterly community news letters produced and distributed to the communities by the respective operations, with support from the Communication Management sub-department, still play a key part in keeping communities informed of operational issues that affect them.
Petra is committed to transparency with regard 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 PWYP, given that publishing details of Petra’s tax payments to Governments can increase confidence and help improve community support for its activities.
In FY 2021, the Group paid a total of US$18.6 million in taxes and royalties (FY 2020: US$19.7 million), with the decrease attributable to the transaction costs incurred under the debt Restructuring resulting in a decrease in VAT payable to host countries. It should be noted that Petra’s operations are currently subject to varying levels of tax shields, due to the significant level of investment having been made by the Company at each operation.
Local community members can submit feedback to Petra Diamonds by emailing: