Employee accommodation and living conditions remain key strategic issues for improving the wellbeing of our employees and host communities in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Our focus remains on facilitating the creation of sustainable human settlements and access to decent accommodation for employees who are residing in informal structures.
The Company’s investment in the accommodation and living conditions of employees is a pillar of our contribution to the wellbeing of our host communities, and an area where we are recognised as leaders across the sector. We continue to facilitate access to housing that is stable, healthy, of adequate size, serviced with water, sanitation and electricity, and within easy commuting distance work.
Over the past 13 years the Company has invested more than R4 billion in accommodation around its South African operations, exceeding all legislative requirements regarding employee housing. To date we have constructed 3 420 houses, of which 90% have been sold to employees. We have adequate accommodation options available for those employees identified through our surveys (4% of employees at Impala Rustenburg, 3% of employees at Impala Springs, and 1% of employees at Marula) to be living in less-than-ideal conditions. We also provide a living-out allowance benefit to enable employees who do not participate in the home ownership scheme to access decent accommodation for themselves.
Our flagship housing projects are the vibrant Sunrise View and Platinum Village housing developments at our Impala Rustenburg operations. These projects were constructed in partnership with local government and independent developers, and include bulk infrastructure (roads, electricity, water, sewerage facilities) and schools. Impala Rustenburg operations also provide 4 188 single accommodation residence rental units and 308 family rental units (converted from hostel buildings prior to 2013), exceeding the requirements of the 2013 Mining Charter.
At Platinum Village, the third phase of the project is progressing well. It involves the provision of bulk infrastructure for the construction of a further 1 000 houses. Construction has also started a fuel station, taxi rank and retail stores with plans in place for a government precinct, with a police station and various government offices.
All houses at Platinum Village are equipped with solar geysers and the planting of trees included. To address water availability challenges around Platinum Village, we have drilled five boreholes to supply a local reservoir and local schools, which now no longer require any municipal water supply.
At Impala Springs, there are no plans to build any new housing developments as there is a robust housing market to cover employee requirements. To improve living conditions, the operation will be investigating the potential investment in recreational facilities.
The majority of employees at Marula reside on the four farms adjacent to the operation. Marula has established a housing forum to improve living conditions for its employees. This includes electrification projects and the drilling of boreholes across the four farms to assist communities with access to electricity and water.
Zimplats has continued to provide rental accommodation (single quarters, houses and apartments) and a facilitated home ownership scheme. Approximately 70% of the employees live in Company housing and 30% receive a living-out allowance. There are no informal settlements around the mines.
Zimplats has a stock of 2 228 houses, despite the deteriorating economic environment and Covid-19-related challenges and has established privately financed (off balance sheet) housing development projects at Chegutu and at Ngezi, which will see the construction of an additional 1 052 housing units. The projects are expected to be completed in 2022.