Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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Afrimat stays true to culture of care and grassroots transformation


Staying true to its ethos of being a people-centric company, Afrimat, a leading open-pit mining company supplying industrial minerals and construction materials to the market, recently completed the construction of a second accommodation wing at the Känguru Home in Klipriver, Gauteng, which cares for terminally ill and disabled children.

A focus on people – both its employees and the communities in which it operates – is enshrined across the group in a culture promoted vigorously by CEO Andries van Heerden, who is passionate about valuing people and promoting grassroots transformation through initiatives such as these.

Last year, Afrimat was in the news for its unique approach in an article about Bongani Nkonyane, an HR Assistant at the group’s SA Block operation. The son of a KwaZulu-Natal taxi driver, Nkonyane has witnessed first-hand the power of Afrimat’s people-centric culture as he has risen through the ranks of the organisation, with Afrimat recognising his skills and experience and supporting his career growth every step of the way.

This time, thanks to the passion of the team at Glen Douglas, ably assisted by the group’s Sustainability team, Afrimat is ensuring care for its communities, having established an ongoing relationship with Känguru, where Glen Douglas also sponsored a fully-equipped therapy room. This has progressed many of the children to a level that has allowed the home to start a reverse-inclusive kindergarten, where normally developing children from the community are included in the classroom.

“By supporting initiatives such as this, Afrimat continues creating value not only for its shareholders but also for people in the communities where it operates. We have also made a fundamental difference to these children’s lives, and that is central to what we want to achieve with any of our CSI initiatives,” says Afrimat CEO, Andries van Heerden.

The wing forms part of the Home’s new facility designed by German architect and Känguru Director, Marcus Sommer, to symbolise the rays of the African sun, and was completed by Afrimat’s Glen Douglas Dolomite Mine, which committed R1.3 million to the project. The facility uses an innovative energy-saving system, including solar panels for underfloor and water heating, double pane windows and double outer walls for insulation. The facility currently houses a large dining area, a kitchen and cold storage room, as well as therapy, treatment and training rooms.

The hope is that eventually five wings, each containing seven spacious double rooms for the residents, as well as further living and facility rooms, will eventually flow from the central hub, which includes a partially covered court for games and recreation. To date the Home has only managed to raise funds to complete two wings.

Känguru provides housing, intensive care, and training for disabled children, offering daily life occupational skills through physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy, and art and music therapy, which is supported by basic academic training. The home further offers hospice services for terminally ill children.

In addition, Känguru has an outreach programme that aims to detect and meet the needs of disabled children in the surrounding community as early as possible, thereby enhancing prevention, treatment and recovery rates.


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