Johannesburg - Resources giant Anglo American [JSE:AGL] on Thursday
said it aimed to help in the creation of 15 000 new jobs by 2015 through local
procurement and its Zimele project, which supports small businesses.
The target will almost double the number of people employed
by the Zimele project.
Zimele is the company's small and medium enterprise
development initiative, which provides funding and support to entrepreneurs
within a 50km radius of its mines.
"To date, Zimele has invested some R467m in 845 local
businesses which together employ almost 16 000 people and generate an annual
turnover of R1.8bn," said Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll.
As part of the programme, the company will use local
procurement; help to expand mineral resources industries; improve on existing
infrastructure; and help to develop skills and educational initiatives, it
It will partner with local business and communities to
identify what resources they need to flourish, it added.
Through the Zimele initiative, business hubs will be
constructed to help communities by providing them with the skills and knowledge
needed to run their own businesses.
"Currently we have 28 hubs in operation and hope to open
eight more in the near future. Through a network of 36 hubs, it is estimated
that we will be able to help create and sustain 28 000 jobs by 2015," said Zimele MD Nick van Rensburg.
"Our job is to create, nurture and develop commercially
viable and sustainable small and medium enterprises. And we do this by
providing empowerment opportunities for previously disadvantaged South
Africans," he said.
South Africa's unemployment rate, at 25%, is one of the
highest among its peers. Most of the jobless are youth.
A recent study found that the youth would rather be
entrepreneurs than be employed, said Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources
Godfrey Oliphant, who spoke at the event on Thursday.
"The study by the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship found
that over 70% of the youth would consider running their own business,
particularly black youth, but most recognise that they need more experience,"
The study found that the government needs to do more to help
the youth establish their own businesses. Oliphant said legislative red tape was
a major obstacle.