Social & Labour Plan – Improve yours with our CSI services

Since 2004, your Social & Labour Plan (SLP) has been a crucial requirement for your mining rights. Those who are in management positions in the mining industry know that the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) only awards mining rights to companies who are achieving the goals set out in their Social & Labour Plan.

The intention for Social and Labour Plans was to benefit mining communities and also the mines themselves. Any industrial installation is only as healthy as the community in which it is based. The mining industry is no exception. With these plans in place the DMR hoped local communities would benefit. Neighbourhoods would be uplifted. Infrastructure and housing would be provided. The mining industry would be transformed for the better.

It is unfortunate that this has not always been the case. Many major mining companies have battled to fulfill the obligations set out in their Social and Labour Plans. The need for improvement in these SLP’s is clear.

How effective is your Social & Labour Plan?

Have your company seen a positive result in the development of human resources? Or in the economy of communities in your mine’s geographical location? Is your plan up to date in reporting retrenchments, downscaling and operating expenses? These are key objectives of an Social & Labour Plan.

What are the pitfalls?

A Social & Labour Plan is a complex document. It contains many different targets and strategies. Add to this the normal day-to-day concerns of the running of the mine. The good intentions laid out in the plan are often neglected and fall flat.

Where the relocation of communities becomes necessary there is further confusion. How should the Social & Labour Plan address this? Many managers remain uncertain.

Another pitfall is the lack of interaction with the community. Planners design the objectives of the Social & Labour Plan according to perceived needs. This makes the Social & Labour Plan ineffective. That perception may not line up with the reality. Often the needs of the community could be better served in other, more sustainable ways.

Lastly, many mines fail to report on the progress of their Social & Labour Plan. Lack of feedback and monitoring breeds ineffectiveness.

A good Social & Labour Plan must clearly define the commitments made by the mining or production business. These commitments must not be based on the good ideas of consultants but on the needs of the community itself. The SLP must then break down the commitments into measurable, achievable goals. This allows the company to make real progress in carrying out the objectives. Many SLP’s fall far short of this.

What are the consequences of a failure to implement a successful Social & Labour Plan?

Failure to fulfill the obligations laid out in your Social and Labour Plan can lead to legal ramifications. In the worst case, loss of mining rights when it comes time for your renewal after five years.

Furthermore, there is the resulting disappointment, anger and resistance from mining communities. Many communities are left in despair when the Social & Labour Plan amounts only to unfulfilled promises. There can be a detrimental impact on the local community. Economic development in the areas surrounding the mine slows, or even reverses. This has a knock-on effect which puts obstacles in the path of development for the mine itself as well.

What solution does Umsizi offer?

We have a proven track record in compiling over 300 Socio-Economic Development Programmes, including Social & Labour Plans.

One of our fundamental principles is interaction with communities, with ongoing monitoring and reporting. This gives you the tools to see that your objectives are being met. We specialise in sustainable, real-world innovations and solutions. We have demonstrable success in areas of learnerships, development of core business skills, women in business and much more. Our practises have led us into close business working partnerships with industry, government, communities, corporates and traditional authorities.

Let us design or audit your Social & Labour Plan. We will produce a beneficial, professional document to fulfill the requirements of the DMR. We draw up documents according to the specific needs of the client.

We can also help you with adequate reporting and feedback to see that all outlined obligations are fulfilled.

We strive to see healthy, uplifting relationships developed between the mining industry and communities, so that all may benefit. In this way Umsizi can work with you to see your business thrive. At the same time, we aim to see the social and economic welfare of all South Africans advanced.