Developing a sustainable economic model for the Eastern Cape
Around 35,000 employees from the major South African mining companies – about 25% of the total workforce –
originate from the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. Nonetheless, the Eastern Cape remains one of the
poorest regions in the country, with 74% of its population living below the poverty line of R800 (US$110) or less a
month (2007 estimate).
Gold Fields is partnering with a range of stakeholders to drive sustainable development in the province, including
peer company AngloGold Ashanti and the not-for-profit organisations Letsema Circle, TEBA Development and
the National Business Initiative. The aim of this partnership is to pool resources, share expertise and leverage
economies of scale to deliver lasting socio-economic benefits.
Efforts will focus on the establishment of Community Enterprise Incubators (CEIs) to help support local
entrepreneurs in rural and poor urban communities. In addition to introducing new business opportunities, the
CEIs will deliver a structured incubation programme – including the provision of soft loans and ongoing
administrative and technical training – for ‘ready to market’ existing social franchise enterprises. This will deliver
‘end-to-end’ enterprise incubation support for new bakeries, groceries, farms, abattoirs, retail outlets and others.
It is envisaged that by building on these proven business models with pre-existing markets – and providing longterm
support – the risk of start-up failure will be minimised.
Through this approach, it is hoped that the CEIs will facilitate the development of a full suite of locally integrated
community enterprises which can deliver better quality goods, lower costs, local employment opportunities
(including for ex-miners) and other social benefits. Gold Fields believes that it is through the facilitation of such
self-sustaining economic networks that broad-based, sustainable socio-economic development can be achieved
in the Eastern Cape.
Plans are in place to launch two pilot CEIs in 2012: One in the Intsika Yethu municipality and the other in the
King Sabata Dalindyebo municipality. It is envisaged that the CEI programme will be scaled-up across the
Eastern Cape, before potential roll-out at a national level.