Engaging local communities

Palabora continues to develop its positive relationship with the Ba-Phalaborwa communities of Phalaborwa, Namakgale, Lulekani, Makhushane, Maseke, Mashishimale, Selwane and Majeje - both formally and informally - to address the developmental needs of these communities. We have identified the local traditional authorities as critical stakeholders for our business and we host fixed scheduled quarterly meetings with them to discuss issues related to sustainable development and understand their needs to ensure that our social license to operate is secured.

The urban communities interests and concerns are presented through their incorporation into the Ba-Phalaborwa Community Forum which provides feedback to the Chiefs as and when a need arise.

Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality is also a critical stakeholder that is the primary reporting custodian of our Social and Labour Plan (SLP) as the document is informed by the Integrated Development Plan of the municipality.

Our Community Relations Policy

Our Community Relations Policy has been promulgated by the Palabora Board of Directors and continues to have Board oversight.

Our goal is to build enduring, mutually beneficial relationships with the Ba-Phalaborwa communities. These relationships are characterised by mutual respect, active partnership and long-term commitment.

Our commitment:

We will:

  • Ensure that we understand the needs of the local communities through continuous and active consultation processes.
  • Ensure that all our employees have a common understanding of the policy;
  • Work with our contractors and suppliers to ensure adherence to this policy;
  • Establish and maintain a mutually acceptable process of consultation and engagement, which promotes consensus in the community towards a common vision and actions aimed at continuous improvement;
  • Conduct regular 'baseline community assessments' to ensure up-to-date information is available on social issues and economic development needs;
  • Facilitate the development of Ba-Phalaborwa communities and labour to promote self-sufficiency and independence;
  • Work with the Leolo Community Trust to achieve its development objectives;
  • Develop and implement a cultural heritage management system in conjunction with the local communities.


Our responsibility:

  • To adopt a proactive approach in our stakeholder engagement .
  • Develop the necessary skills in our employees and community leaders to deal effectively with community relations;
  • Integrate the policy implementation into our long-term objectives and company plans;
  • Benchmark our practice through peer mining comparison using local and international best practices;
  • Establish and maintain the 'communities' complaints, dispute and grievance procedure.


Our systems:

  • Implement an appropriate structure to manage community relations and development led by the Superintendent: Stakeholder Engagement;
  • Perform multi-year planning for community relations and initiatives;
  • Develop and maintain a cultural and socio-economic database of the Ba-Phalaborwa community;
  • Perform a Social Risk Analysis; Social Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment;
  • Establish quantifiable and appropriate reporting mechanisms;
  • Establish a Monitoring and Evaluation system to enable an empirical impact evaluation over a predetermined period for community projects.
Promoting Enterprise and Supplier Development

As part of our ambitious transformation programme, Palabora contributes meaningfully and sustainably through Enterprise Development (ED), Supplier Development (SD) and Socio-Economic Development (SED) to help develop the community of Ba-Phalaborwa. The business has taken a firm position on the adoption of the provision of the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) codes of good practice on ED and SD programmes. Our vision with this initiative is to ensure that we create value and wealth for the emerging local township and villages based businesses to create job opportunities.

In the spirit of the B-BBEE Act, we funded the 30TEN+5 ED programme that was aimed at assisting 45 local entrepreneurs with training and operational and/or financial support to build their existing enterprises. All 45 beneficiaries of the programme were carefully selected by Palabora through a series of interventions with the local communities, and they represented businesses that were already in existence across different sectors of the local township and rural economy.

Amongst the beneficiaries were 30 micro enterprises from the Makhushane, Mashishimale, Selwane, Maseke, Lulekani, Phalaborwa, Namakgale and Majeje communities; 10 enterprises identified through the Palabora Foundation and 5 independent funding requests forming part of Palabora's discretionary fund.

Beneficiaries received development assistance in the form of entrepreneurial training, funding support, administrative support or the promotion of joint ventures and partnerships which will result in substantive skills transfer.

The advent of the newly revised B-BBEE Act has seen the review of the Enterprise Development brought two concepts being the Enterprise Development and Supplier Development which is now classified as a priority element.

Palabora Link Enterprise and Supplier Development Programme

In 2018, Palabora embarked on a new Enterprise and Supplier Development programme called "Palabora Link". The programme promotes the development of 37 enterprises participating in both Enterprise and Supplier Development. A key aspiration of Palabora Link is that participating businesses will grow to create employment opportunities for other members of the community, thereby lessening the dependence of those communities on PMC as the mine moves towards 2030.

Palabora Link supports the growth of local enterprises that may or may not be supplying services and products to PMC. Beneficiaries of the Palabora Link programme are supported in the purchasing of essential business tools, such as equipment that will grow their businesses and business related training.

Another group of Enterprise and Supplier Development companies was selected in November 2020 and the programme will run for a period of two years for Enterprise Development and three years for Supplier Development.