Executive Mayor of Ngwathe Municipality, Cllr Joey Machela, and Voorspoed Mine General Manager, Malcom Hendrickse at the sod-turning ceremony.

Voorspoed Mine has partnered with the Ngwathe Local Municipality to create a better future for the elderly by committing to build a new old-age facility for Ratang Maqheku Centre for the Aged in Parys.

Through its Building Forever strategy, De Beers Group is helping communities to access opportunities and thrive with the aim of leaving a positive and lasting legacy for mining communities to enjoy sustainable livelihoods beyond the life of its operations.

Malcom Hendrickse, Voorspoed Mine General Manager, said, “Our Building Forever approach unites and compels us to create a better future for our people, and we have continued to select partners and projects that will help maximise our positive impact as an organisation. We are proud of the positive impact that the new old-age home will have for elderly citizens for generations to come.

“While Voorspoed Mine stopped mining operations in December 2018, as it reached the end of its life, we will continue to implement our Social and Labour Plan as agreed with our local municipalities.”

Ratang Maqheku Centre currently operates from three rented backyard rooms in Tumahole, Parys. The centre caters for 30 elderly people daily, and provides food, primary healthcare services, physical exercises, as well as access to the local library to improve their literacy and writing skills.

The new 470-square-metre facility will comprise two bedrooms, sick bay, workshop area, rest area, consultation room, three offices, dining area, kitchen with a pantry and laundry room, two ablution facilities, as well as a reception and waiting area. Ratang Maqheku will also receive a brand-new 22-seater vehicle from De Beers Group to transport the elderly to and from the centre.

Speaking at the sod-turning event of the construction of the new facility, Executive Mayor of Ngwathe Local Municipality, Cllr Joey Mochela, said, “We are standing on a construction site of a dream that will soon become a lasting legacy for our community. This event is proof that working together in partnership with the private sector can produce remarkable outcomes.”

In total, Voorspoed Mine spent R31.6-million supporting Socio-Economic Development projects in 2018.