Exxaro’s compassion and willingness to better the lives of our fellow citizens with acts of kindness stands testament to our desire for a more inclusive future.
In support of National Disability Rights Awareness Month, which takes place annually between 3 November and 3 December, Exxaro has taken on various initiatives to commemorate both this initiative and International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December. This is a time to acknowledge the challenges that people with disabilities face every day and to think about what each of us can do to make South Africa a more inclusive place.
The ongoing stigma against those with disabilities can lead to social avoidance, stereotyping, discrimination and condescension. We must seek out ways to bridge this diversity gap and empower people living with physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental or some combination of these disabilities.
Ensuring a better future for all
In support of these initiatives, Exxaro Coal Central (ECC) donated 21 wheelchairs to a local NGO, House of Hope Development Centre, situated in the eMbalenhle township in the Govan Mbeki Local Municipality.
Grootgeluk Mine invested R1.7 million to the iSchoolAfrica programme at Sedibeng Combined School, sponsoring iPads with cellular capability for teachers and for learners. iPad solutions were customised for each learner to provide communication boards, alternative keyboards, OT applications, various visual tools and other tools for coping with dyslexia.
Exxaro’s head office (the conneXXion) also donated personal protective equipment (PPE) packs to the value of R100 000 to the Transoranje School for the Deaf. In addition to this, the staff pledged to support the learners during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Exxaro recognises the importance of the inclusion and enablement of minority groups in society,” Dr Nombasa Tsengwa, Exxaro Managing Director of Minerals, explained. “This has allowed us to shed light on the cause, enable better lives in the community.”
“We have already seen a difference in the standard of education following the use of iPads at Sedibeng Combined School. It was an adjustment for all, but we’re happy to see how it has all worked out,” said Mzila Mthenjane, Executive Head of Stakeholder Affairs.
“The challenges that people living with disabilities in South Africa face are alarming: access and inclusion are perhaps the most important of these,” added David Kobuoe, ECC Mining Manager. “Our contribution to theses NGOs reaffirms our commitment to promoting better lives and celebrating diversity.”
It’s Exxaro’s belief that everyone has something important to contribute to the drive for a better economy and society. Finding a way to include our entire population will ensure that everyone feels empowered and driven to ensure that Africa thrives.
“I urge everyone to continue fighting for the human rights and empowerment of persons with disabilities. By focusing on what we are all able to bring to the table instead of on the word ‘disability’, we have already recognised that we all deserve to participate in the economy of our country,” Kobuoe concluded.