Consol speaks out

2018-10-30 06:00

Consol is concerned about misperceptions created through recent reports in this publication where it was stated that the company had refused to participate in community meetings.

Consol representatives met with three members of the Manenberg Business Development Forum (MBDF), including the Chairman, in October. This was part of an ongoing effort to engage with the community, through recognised community-based structures, to address concerns around the Manenberg Community Development Trust. The company used the opportunity to, once again, share information on the formation of the Trust, its primary objectives, and the appointment and role of Trustees.

Consol originally created the Trust as a legal entity which would hold the portion of land donated to the broader Manenberg community. In the interim, Consol granted a Land Use Agreement to the Trust for the purpose of transforming the donated portion of land into a picturesque Urban Park and Waterfront development. The intention is that the subdivided portion of the mining property will eventually be transferred into the ownership of the Trust, but only once all legal and other regulatory issues have been approved by relevant authorities.

The composition of the Board of Trustees of the Trust includes a range of community-based organisations. The Trust consists of representatives of organisations that include the Manenberg Development Coordinating Structure, the Manenberg Ministers Fellowship, the Manenberg Community Police Forum and Consol. Proudly Manenberg decided to step down as a Trustee after the Trust was formed. A Trustee’s term of office is regulated by the Trust deed document, which stipulates that an appointed Trustee will remain in office unless he/she resigns or is recalled by the organisation that seconded him/her to the Trust or is declared to be no longer fit and proper to fulfil his/her duties as a Trustee. The overall duties of the Trustees are to ensure good governance of the Trust and that the assets of the Trust are used and deployed in the best interest of the beneficiaries, that is, the broader community of Manenberg.

The Trust’s main objective has always been to ensure that the Manenberg Urban Park/Waterfront project becomes a reality. Consol has donated R1.3m of seed capital to the Trust, specifically to be used to source and secure additional funding for the establishment of some of the proposed infrastructure for this project.

In addition, through the Trust, Consol has been actively funding smaller ad-hoc community projects amounting to around R1.25m over the past six years. Consol will continue its engagement with stakeholders.

Thami Mkhuzangwe, Email

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