(Johan Van Rooyen, Frik Diergaardt, Bafana Mahlangu) Bedrock contractor, Frik at the diamond jig sort house.

Plateaux Diamonds (Pty) Ltd signs temporary bedrock sweeping contracts with local communities.

As this year draws to an end and we continue to mourn daily for the loss of so many lives, all whilst adapting to a new way of life and the constant reflection on all that 2020 had to offer us and took away from us, lets agree that this year has tested our resolve and then some.

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the world at large and no doubt the effects continue to be felt far and wide by her citizens.  Lower Orange River Diamonds has been fortunate enough to continue with its mining operations and continues to provide much needed employment within the Northern Cape Region.  This pandemic has been humbling and it is not lost on us that we are extremely lucky to be located in such a remote part of South Africa and believe this played a huge role in preventing a COVID-19 outbreak on the mine.  That said as a company we have remained positive throughout and put all our focus on the task at hand.

Emmerentia Januarie and her team from Kuboes.

The past few weeks were spent around a table trying to find mutually beneficial solutions to resolve the ongoing conflict between community members in the Richtersveld and the mine.  After several meetings, we are finally pleased to announce that Plateaux Diamonds (Pty) Ltd has signed numerous temporary bedrock sweeping contracts with members from the local communities (Sanddrift, Kuboes, Lekkersing and Eksteenfontein).  The community’s response to these contracts has been very positive and the overall feeling is one of excitement for the potential that these contracts will have not only for their future, but also the benefits that come with finding a “common ground” and working together.

The deliberation over these temporary bedrock contracts was peaceful, and it has set a positive tone throughout whilst enabling us to address the core issues together. The contract affords everyone within the community an equal and fair opportunity to be included in a (CAM) contract group.  It is a small beginning but one that we envisage growing over time; and provided everyone adheres to the contract, the mines rules and the OHS safety regulations.

In February next year, the mine will determine if this project has proved successful and finds the contractors and their members to be compliant and operating in a manner that aligns with safe working practices and sets good examples to other communities and mine house.