For many years the South African mining industry has been the cornerstone of the growth within the region. Despite the fact that our gold reserves are declining, the region as a whole will still remain an important mining center.
One of the key elements of the industry is the use of migration workers. Both from SA and neighboring regions in SADC. Housing has remained one of the high cost factors and sources of conflict. The introduction of the Agri 2000 housing options for migration workers offer certain specific benefits to worker and mining companies.
However the following must be noted:-
- Agri2000 focuses on the technical aspect of housing for migration workers.
- Agri2000 does not engage in any labor policy matters as to the overall utilizing of migration workers and or labor practices.
- The adoption and implementation of these options are therefore for discussion between the mining houses and workers themselves.
- These housing options were designed specifically taking into account the needs of migration workers.
Further developments are being undertaken with regards to these options.
The pioneering company DIY Industries (See www.vtsa.co.za) and Agri2000 recognize and approach the development on the basis that the underlying concepts offer certain specific benefits. And that it in effect will open what can be referred to as a new market segment with specific focus on entry level and migration housing.
C) However what is factual and very important:-
These housing options introduce new solutions, which could be considered with other solutions and or as a key element to provide:-
- Quality housing to migration workers.
The benefits can be summarized as follows:-
d) Benefits for mining
- Companies have an option of flexibility.
- The option can be utilized in the Agri2000 framework to assist mining companies to secure mining activities in other regions within Africa.
e) Benefits for workers
- First of all, the units provide immediate quality accommodation.
- Secondly, it provides an option by, which mine workers and other migration workers have an opportunity to acquire an asset as opposed to a predominant rental expense.
The benefit for both the mining company and workers of this is that the latent value of housing can be capitalized and
- at 30% of migration workers in South Africa this benefit could easily exceed thirty billion Rand.
f) Collaboration and development
As a result of these benefits it is envisaged that:-
- A new labor development model can be established through collaboration between Government, the mining, manufacturing and related material suppliers such as the steel industry.
- Where the concept of supplying housing to migration workers extends beyond the physical accommodation. It can include aspects such as appropriate training to equip our workers with options that allow them, when their tenure expires, to pursue other economic activities.
The value of this should not be underestimated:-
- The South African mining and agricultural sectors are providing work to people who currently have limited and mostly labor based skills.
- They are however talented people and through the correct labor redeployment training programs can on completion of their tenures play an important role to accelerate economic growth, if appropriate training was received.
- Specifically if one takes into account, that this block of our workers predominantly comes from the rural areas.
- And that through the adoption of new business models developed by Agri2000, they can play a key role in the development of rural communities.
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