African Rainbow Minerals' broad-based economic empowerment trust received an R8 million windfall yesterday.
The company's executive chairman, Patrice Motsepe, presented the trust's first dividend at a meeting to inaugurate the BEE board of trustees.
The BEE trust includes five provincial rural upliftment trusts in Limpopo, North West, Free State, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. Other beneficiaries include the National Women's Upliftment Trust, church trusts, as well as Nehawu and Sadtu investment companies that represent more than 400000 workers.
The cash distributions ranged from R250000 to R1,5million and are aimed at improving living conditions in rural communities by improving facilities such as schools, creches, clinics, hospitals and laboratories, said Motsepe.
ARM also gave R1,5million to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the second such gift in less than seven months.
The meeting was attended by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and about 40 other traditional leaders from all nine provinces.
Motsepe said the trust was worth about R4billion, but it had outstanding loans of R1 billion.
He said the long-term political and economic stability of South Africa required that as many citizens as possible, particularly the poor and marginalised, participated and benefited from the growth of the economy.
"As our company grows, so will the value held by the trust and the benefits that the beneficiaries receive. This is a partnership that will be sustainable for the long-term," he said.
Zwelithini praised Motsepe's initiatives. He called on trustees and traditional leaders to appoint people with a track record of benefiting the poor to look after the trust's investments. The Zulu king also suggested that the trust implement projects to benefit the needy.
ARM is worth R40billion.