COMMUNITY RELATIONS

Rössing acknowledges that operating within a sustainable community provides our business distinct benefits, such as skilled and locally available employees, capable local suppliers of goods and services, access to sustainably managed natural resources, and healthy and safe environments for our employees and their families.

 

An important part of that is good community relations, which is as necessary for our business success as the effective management of our operations. With this in mind, we implement longterm community development plans that focus on improvements in quality of life. In 2020, we continued successful efforts to maintain these mutually beneficial relationships.

Despite facing production and market challenges during 2020, Rössing Uranium remains committed to long-term stakeholder relationships that are mutually beneficial and executed in a respectful manner for both the beneficiaries and the mine.

Honouring our corporate social responsibilities, we accomplished this through continued investment under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our activities are also aligned with the Chamber of Mines of Namibia’s Mining Charter, Namibia’s Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) and the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

In 2020, Rössing Uranium supported the Rössing Foundation and other community initiatives with just over N$25.8 million, of which N$16.8 million went to the Rössing Foundation, N$4.7 million to the Arandis asbestos-roof replacement project, N$3.9 million to COVID-19-related donations and N$400,000 was in-kind and cash contributions to worthy community initiatives. This is over and above the direct and indirect economic benefits we created through local employment and the procurement of goods and services from local businesses.

STIMSONITE ROAD STUDS INSTALLED TO IMPROVE ROAD SAFETY

Rössing Uranium and Swakop Uranium, in partnership with the Roads Authority, have installed Stimsonite road studs on the B2 road between Swakopmund and Arandis as part of the mines’ continued efforts to support the communities in which they operate. This project is geared to improve road safety on this stretch of road.

Stimsonite studs are embedded type of reflective road studs for use on highways and other roads to improve delineating road markings on the surface of a road and increase a driver’s ‘preview’ time before taking certain actions, particularly under wet or misty conditions and at night.

The road studs were installed on the B2 road, covering the area from the roadblock outside Swakopmund to the turn-off at Arandis, a distance of just over 40 kilometres. In addition to the heavy flow of traffic on the B2, the employees of both mines also travel to and from work daily, using this stretch of the B2 road. Safety is a key priority for the mines and therefore this initiative received the mines’ support as poor visibility brought on by low-lying mist on the B2 road has been identified as a hazard in the continued efforts to ensure safe driving.

The project was handed over to the Roads Authority Namibia in August 2020, and was a joint venture undertaken by the Rössing Uranium and Swakop Uranium mines. The total cost of the project was N$200,000.

 

(Above and left) Motor mechanic learners from Coastal High School, Swakopmund, doing practicals as guided by their teacher on a redundant vehicle donated by Rössing Uranium.

TRAINING VEHICLE TO HELP ASPIRING MECHANICS

In June 2020, Rössing Uranium donated a redundant vehicle to Coastal High School to help auto mechanic learners with practical experience. The Toyota Avensis serviced the mine’s Procurement department for 12 years and covered more than 400,000 km. Now it serves as a skills training tool for the auto mechanic learners.

At the hand-over event, school principal, Calvin Martin, said: “This car may be redundant for Rössing, but for us it is a much-needed tool for the learners to achieve better competencies in their field. As the only school in the region offering this technical subject, we want to do the training to the best of our ability and ensure that our learners become the best auto mechanics in Namibia. This donation came at the right time, as finally the learners will be able to take the engine apart and learn how to put it back again”.

“I can finally practice what I learn in class,” were the words of a joyful Trevor Cloete, an auto mechanic learner at the school.

Another learner at the school, Romeo Hangula, said that he is now able to attain practical skills as this vehicle will help him to practice what he is learning in class. Also, these skills will help him in future to start up his own vehicle workshop and earn an income for himself.

Rössing’s manager for Partnerships, Communication and External Affairs, Daylight Ekandjo, said at the event that the donation of the vehicle to Coastal High School forms part of the mine’s sustainable development and community relationships approach, which is to seek out win-win situations that can increase economic wealth and social well-being for Namibia, today and tomorrow. The donation of the vehicle is seen as a long term investment in the education of our youth.

 

Mine hosted outreach programme in Okombahe

As part of Rössing’s outreach projects, we donated reusable sanitary pads to girl children of the Willem Borchard Primary School in Okombahe to keep the girls in school, as they tend to stay out of school during their menstrual cycle if they do not have the required sanitary pads available.

Okombahe is a settlement in the Dâures constituency of the Erongo Region.

 

Rössing Uranium partnered with AnnPads Namibia to provide the girl children from the school with the reusable pads. The partnership includes training for five girls on how to make their own sanitary pads, and then have them train their peers. The school has 104 girls in grades 5 to 7, the pubescent group the Rössing initiative focused on.

The initiative supports the Government’s efforts to help girl children to stay in school and ultimately complete their education.

 


Staff from Rössing, with learners and teachers from Willem Borchard primary school in Okombahe during an outreach visit by Rössing Uranium.

 

INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS

The social expectations from mining companies are continuously changing with the license to operate becoming more complex. Corporate communications plays a key role in how investors, government, communities, media and the general public perceive the company.

Rössing’s broad and complex stakeholder groupings require to be kept abreast about company developments and the mine’s strategic direction through the identification of the best possible communication channels to interact with them.

Albeit the COVID-19 challenges experienced in 2020, especially in terms of the restriction on face-to-face gatherings, a number of strategic communication activities were implemented during 2020 to disseminate information about Rössing Uranium to key stakeholders via a variety of channels in the print and electronic media.

Albeit the COVID-19 challenges experienced in 2020, especially in terms of the restriction on face-to-face gatherings, a number of strategic communication activities were implemented during 2020 to disseminate information about Rössing Uranium to key stakeholders via a variety of channels in the print and electronic media.

 

We also kept the Namibian Government informed about our corporate business strategy through the mine’s senior management engaging with politicians and senior officials on a number of matters of mutual interest, as well as working closely on information campaigns with the Chamber of Mines of Namibia and the Namibian Uranium Association.

 

Due to the restriction on the number of people allowed to gather in public, our external communication efforts were limited due to the cancellation of trade and career exhibitions.

However, we used the opportunity to keep our stakeholders updated on key developmental activities at the mine via regular updates on Rössing’s website and the frequent sharing of media releases through both local and international media.

Our 2019 Report to Stakeholders was also launched virtually for the first time as we needed to explore innovative ways of disseminating information.

Media relations were facilitated through the management of various media enquiries, which give opportunities to create balanced coverage of our operations and business activities.

 

Our visitors’ programme, which is a key means of engaging guests locally and from around the world, was unfortunately also impacted by the pandemic.

However, we managed to accommodate a few government officials after the easing of the lockdown period.

 

In line with our drive to promote healthy habits and support positive lifestyles in the community, we sponsored the 29th Rössing National Marathon Championship in 2020, with Swakop Striders Athletics Club hosting the event.

The 29th marathon took place on 8 February 2021 with a record number of over 700 entries received. The competitors participated in a 42.2 km marathon, the Frank Slabbert half-marathon over 21.1 km and a 10 km race.

A 5 km fun walk was held in support of the Cancer Association of Namibia and attracted more than 300 walkers. This major event on our corporate calendar also serves as a platform to engage a variety of stakeholders.

 

DONATED PALLETS TO COSDEC


 

 

 

 

 

We donated redundant pallets to the Namibia Community Skills Development Foundation for use in the carpentry workshop. The courses they offer are for youth from less priviledged backgrounds. This assistance is a planned on-going project.