By Bahle Gama
Maloma Colliery Limited has been granted permission to sink another shaft at Ndunayithini to maximize mining operations.
The country’s largest mining company had a sod-cutting ceremony whereby Chief Prince Gasa WaNgwane formally handed over the site to be sunk to Maloma Colliery acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jabu Shabangu on August 25. Shabangu extended appreciation to Chief Gasa for allowing Maloma to be part of the Lavumisa community and for the company to sink what has been labelled as Shaft 4.
She further thanked His Majesty King Mswati III for cultivating an environment that allows the growth of businesses in Eswatini, adding that it was refreshing how the King’s vision of achieving First World Status was being embraced.
“We are excited as Maloma to contribute towards this vision through the growth of the mine, which translates to more jobs in the country and an improved economy,” she said. She committed to following the Environmental Regulations in the whole mining operations process.
The acting CEO further appealed to the Ndunayithini community for their collaboration as they all work towards achieving a shared goal, adding that if there are concerns, Maloma is open to resolving them and pleaded that they be addressed using the relevant structures. Maloma Colliery is one of the largest producers of anthracite coal in the region and the world at large.
The coal is being exported to other countries, primarily South Africa and the exportation of the highly valuable anthracite coal will continue to contribute to the country’s economy and see Eswatini grow and establish itself as a giant within the region and the world.
Making his brief remarks, Chief Gasa called for Maloma to prioritize the youth at Ndunayithini and Lavumisa at large when creating job opportunities at the new shaft.
“The unemployment rate is endemic for this part of the country, and we hope that Maloma will ensure to eradicate this problem that has engulfed our young people,” he said.
Currently, Maloma employs approximately 600 mine workers, with over 40 per cent of them being from the Lavumisa Chiefdom, over 50 per cent from the other surrounding Chiefdoms, and less than 10 per cent from other parts of the country.
The CEO gave assurance that as Maloma embarks on this new venture, they are committed to creating more employment opportunities not only for the Ndunayithini community but for all of emaSwati.
She stated that there are several functions in mining which include extraction, processing, transportation, and other supporting functions that will play a role in job opportunities. Shabangu further stated that as a responsible corporate citizen, Maloma is committed to making a positive impact in the communities it operates and has embarked on various Corporate Social Investment initiatives.
These include the discovery of three boreholes with water and are currently engaging the Rural Water Department of Water Affairs to test if the water is potable.
Thereafter, the plan is to ensure the water is accessible to the community for consumption and gardening.
“We are also contributing to the construction of roads in the communities to improve access through a collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport. With the opening of this new shaft, we will continue to implement more CSI initiatives that will benefit the community,” Shabangu said.