The Eastern Limb region is in the Limpopo province of South Africa; it comprises 7 municipalities and around 37 mines, including our Mototolo, Thorncliff, Helena and Magareng mines and the Lion and Lydenburg smelters: these form a significant part of our ferroalloys operations.

Members of this community have not previously had the opportunity to develop the skills sought by the mining industry. The resulting skill shortages caused some problems for the mines required to recruit from the community. This led to unrest, instability and operational interruptions.

In 2005, Glencore Ferroalloys (then Xstrata Alloys) committed ZAR60 million in immediate and ongoing funding to build and operate the Eastern Limb Training Centre, which offers engineering training for mining and construction. The centre offers vocational training, and engineering and specialist skills courses, as well as assisting school graduates in entering tertiary education.

Between 2011 and 2013, over 700 people have completed training at the centre. Of these, 411 have found either permanent or temporary employment. They completed training courses in civil works, shuttering (creating templates for support structures), bricklaying, and as engineering assistants in electrics, fitting or boiler-making. 52 of our engineering learners completed their programmes to qualify as artisans, and 15 have gone on to further education.

The training is based on our operational safety standards, ensuring that students can start employment with a sound knowledge of safety requirements and best practice.
The centre has been recognised by the government for its success in providing high quality, cost-effective education that promotes employment and supports the development of an internationally competitive skilled labour force in South Africa.