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Societal contribution 

We seek to create value in the communities where we have a presence and make a positive contribution to society by producing the commodities required in a low-carbon future, paying taxes and royalties, providing jobs, developing local suppliers, investing in community programs and providing returns to shareholders. 

FY23 at a glance


spent on social investment


spent on wages and salaries


paid in corporate income tax

We are proud to invest in local communities and contribute to the social, economic, and institutional development of host countries and communities. We design our social investment programs with input from our key stakeholders to reflect their aspirations and needs. This knowledge, combined with other assessments and surveys, informs our decision about investment in communities.

Social investment plans are developed by social performance specialists in consultation with the community and key stakeholders. Our social investments are aligned to four key focus areas:

  • Education and leadership – supporting lifelong learning and development, nurturing future leaders and promoting equal access to education, with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics;
  • Good health and social wellbeing –supporting community health and social wellbeing and promoting inclusion;
  • Economic participation – supporting local employment, sustainable livelihoods and diversified local economies; and
  • Natural resource resilience – supporting communities to thrive within their environments, conservation and restoration of the natural environment, and the use of natural resources in responsible and sustainable ways.

The mining industry plays a critical role in South Africa’s economic development as a major contributor to the economy, significant employer and an attractor of foreign investment. However, the racially based foundations upon which the industry was laid and operated until the early 1990s had an adverse effect on South Africa’s socio-economic landscape.

To address the historical imbalances, the Broad-Based Socio-Economic Empowerment Charter for the South African Mining and Minerals Industry was implemented in 2004 to advance economic transformation and enhance the economic participation of Black People in the South African economy.

South Africa’s transformation imperative aligns with our purpose. We recognise the role that we play in shaping a better future in South Africa through economic transformation and continue to focus on employment equity, Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD), social investment, job creation, skills development and local economic development.

Growing and developing small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) through ESD is fundamental to the transformation of the South African economy.

We provide employment opportunities in the regions where we work, with the aim of creating a workforce that reflects the diverse communities and countries where we operate.

We aim to be an employer of choice, providing an inclusive work environment and competitive remuneration to attract, develop and retain talented people. This is supported by our internal inclusion and diversity standard that sets minimum inclusion and diversity performance requirements across all elements of people management, and our internal human resources standard that guides the management of our people.

Supporting local suppliers helps to develop and strengthen local value chains and economies. We source goods and services within local communities, where possible, and set targets at many of our operations for local business spend that take into consideration legislative requirements and local capability.

We provide access to skills development and work experience to support the capability and capacity of people and businesses from diverse backgrounds to better enable them to work with us.

We are committed to increasing our procurement of goods and services from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses across our Australian locations as part of our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

Taxation payments are an important mechanism for contributing to the economies of the countries where we operate. Our approach is aligned with the ICMM Position Statement on Mineral Revenues and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which promotes open and accountable management of mineral resource wealth. The EITI has confirmed that South32 meets all the expectations for supporting companies.

We support the public disclosure of payments made to governments and communities, and the public disclosure by governments on contracts and licences for the exploitation of minerals and other natural resources. 

Each year, we publish a Tax Transparency and Payments to Governments Report that shows our tax affairs are conducted in line with our commitment to ethical business practices. This report sets out our approach to tax governance and dealing with tax authorities, details our tax payments to governments by country and project, tax expense and international related party dealings on a country by- country basis, and our contracts for resource development. Learn more about our approach to tax in the Tax Transparency and Payments to Governments Report. 

Learn more in our Tax Transparency and Payments to Governments Report

We aim to maximise total shareholder returns over time. Our capital management framework guides our capital allocation priorities and returns excess capital efficiently. 

Kotulong Community Centre Relocation Project

An aerial photo of Kotulong Community Centre in Meyerton, South Africa

Kotulong Community Centre Relocation Project

Earlier this year, construction was completed of the new sustainable Kotulong Community Centre (KCC), a local Non-Government Organisation working with vulnerable children in Meyerton, Gauteng.

The centre was developed and handed over in partnership with the Department of Social Development and the KCC management and Board. It will provide the children with a safe place to call home in a more suitable environment. The new building has seven three-bedroom units, a kitchen and laundry area, administration block, library and social worker unit.