As Women’s Month draws to a close, employees at our South Africa operations have been carrying out educational workshops on the issue of gender-based violence.  

The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures have meant an increased risk for people in abusive relationships, the majority of whom are women, who have been trapped inside with their abusers, unable to leave, escape or reach out for help.  

Our SAEC team, in partnership with their employee assistance program provider, hosted a gender-based violence awareness training program for Grade 12 learners from Lehlaka Combined School in Rietspruit.  

The youngsters were given information on GBV and its emotional impact, guidance on how to stay safe and a bag with safety items including a torch and pepper spray. They also learnt basic self-defence skills and those who wanted extra support had free counselling sessions made available to them. 

Mining Manager, Mine Closure, Phillip Mtshweni said: “We all have a role to play in the fight against gender-based violence. We ought to take up the challenge and play our part in helping reduce the alarming statistics in our communities and workplace. Through this initiative, and in line with our value of care, we hope we have planted a seed that will result in young people who are empowered and know that gender-based violence is never acceptable.”   

The Women in Mining group and Wessels Men’s Forum at our South Africa Manganese operation joined forces to hold a series of events at our sites to raise awareness of gender-based violence, encouraging colleagues to speak out against it in their communities and call for positive change.