Centre benefits Kathu youth

2018-06-27 06:00
At the opening of the Sishen Education Centre at Tamaga Lodge outside Kathu, are from the left Edwin Hantise (Gamagara municipal mayor), Themba Mkhwanazi (Kumba Iron Ore CEO), Morgan Griffiths (Wessa representative) and Mapi Mobwano (Sishen Mine general manager).    Photo: Supplied

At the opening of the Sishen Education Centre at Tamaga Lodge outside Kathu, are from the left Edwin Hantise (Gamagara municipal mayor), Themba Mkhwanazi (Kumba Iron Ore CEO), Morgan Griffiths (Wessa representative) and Mapi Mobwano (Sishen Mine general manager). Photo: Supplied

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In celebrating World Environment Day on 5 June, the Sishen Mine of Anglo American Kumba Iron Ore officially opened the Sishen Education Centre at Tamaga Lodge, situated in the Sishen Nature Reserve, just outside Kathu.

The Brookes and Bredenkamp farms, owned by Sishen Mine, are reported to have been declared by the Northern Cape Government Gazette as a provincial nature reserve in April.

The primary purpose of the reserve is to conserve a representative portion of the Kathu Bushveld ecosystem for the benefit of the community.

The opening of the centre is also set to create an opportunity for Sishen to make a positive impact on environmental education for the youth in the Northern Cape.

The centre will be run in partnership with the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (Wessa), an organisation that currently runs environmental education centres (EEC) in a sustainable manner at different locations in South Africa.

Kumba Iron Ore CEO, Themba Mkhwanazi, highlighted that through the environmental education centre the learners and tertiary students can experience nature, and learn in an inspirational natural environment.

“The centre will focus on supporting the learning of environmental sciences and maths and in doing so, assist to raise regional pass rates through nurturing interest and understanding of the world we live in,” Mkhwanazi said in a statement.

“We see this initiative as a long term community investment project that will uplift the local communities surrounding the Kumba mines, even beyond the life of Sishen.”

Wessa having become a leading implementer of many environmental education initiatives, also expressed their excitement to be able to start this journey with Sishen mine Kumba Iron Ore.

“The common denominator that unites our two organisations is a genuine passion for environmental education and the impact that this has on people’s lives and the environments in which they live,” said Wessa’s human resources manager, Sarah Alcock, who represented CEO Dr Thommie Burger at the launch.

She pledged their role in an anticipated long-term vision to work with Anglo American in the Northern Cape, to create and maintain a special partnership whereby all stakeholders can benefit and prosper.

“Together with the primary and secondary schools in this province, to the youth in the neighbouring communities, the opening of this Environmental Education Centre will have unquestionable impact,” said Alcock.

Sishen mine is located in an area lush with camel thorn trees, which is a protected species. Kathu is home to the world’s third-largest camel thorn tree forest.

The biodiversity offset projects in this area are thus well known to being primarily concerned with camel thorn tree preservation.

According to Kumba’s environment strategy, this identifies how important nature conservation is to the company and by implementing initiatives such as the Education Centre, the company aims to preserve and protect the environment for future generations.

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