Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) today handed over a R 3.841 million bakery to the community of kwaMkhwanazi as part of the mine’s Social and Labour Plan (SLP) commitments.
Werner Duvenhage, MD of Richards Bay Minerals, said the bakery is a positive development in encouraging economic activity in the area: “The bakery is an important project for the community as it will help to uplift local entrepreneurs, provide much-needed jobs and offer opportunities for sustainable income generation.”
The bakery is aligned to RBM’s strategy to inspire and empower local communities to become self-sufficient. The project has 10 beneficiaries and will provide employment for six young people, five females and one male.
The project was identified and conceptualised in discussion with community members, the local Traditional Council (TC) and the local municipality. It is part of the City of Mhlathuze’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) which provides a detailed framework for the district’s growth and development. Tronox, one of the leading businesses in the area has also expressed interest in becoming a partner in the project.
The Mkhwanazi bakery will benefit from being part of the Butterfields Foods Franchise programme by having access to the company’s large company infrastructure and receiving critical support from the franchisor. Butterfields Foods, which has been in operation for over 30 years and runs more than 100 bakeries throughout South Africa, aims to revive the village baker concept where the local community has easy access to freshly-baked bread and other delicious products.
The business will be able to concentrate on growing its markets and building lasting relationships with customers. Excitingly, the University of Zululand, which is close to uMkhwanazi, has been signed as the bakery’s first major customer, giving them a nice solid start to the business.
“We are truly proud of this project and excited for what the future holds for the business,” adds Duvenhage. “We would also like to thank all the stakeholders who worked tirelessly to make this project a reality.”
For media queries:
Contact: Zanele Zungu
Senior Adviser, Communications
Issued by- Rio Matlhaku
Aprio Strategic Communications
On behalf of Richards Bay Minerals