BEE company plans multimillion-rand investment for workers in set sectors

DIGGING IN: Paul Nkuna, chief executive the Mining Investment Corporation. PIc. Jeremy Glyn. `02/07/05. © Financial Mail.
DIGGING IN: Paul Nkuna, chief executive the Mining Investment Corporation. PIc. Jeremy Glyn. `02/07/05. © Financial Mail.

Thomas McLachlan

Thomas McLachlan

The Mining Investment Company (MIC) plans to invest R100million to help miners, energy and construction workers and their dependents within the next two years, a company official said yesterday.

"To date we've given R84million back to the Mining Investment Trust [which owns MIC]," said Keshan Pillay, the company's executive director of finance and strategy.

"We've committed to take this to more than R100million in the next two years. About R17million will come in next year and R20million will come in 2008.

"Our strategy is to outperform that, but that's the minimum commitment we've made to the trust," said Pillay.

The company was launched in 1995 as one of the earliest entrants into the BEE arena.

It started with an investment of R3million from the National Union of Mineworkers and has grown into a R2billion investment company, through investments in empowerment opportunities.

"The benefits do not go directly into the beneficiaries' hands, they go to programmes.

"Currently the trust is supporting three programmes," said Pillay.

These included the Mineworkers Development Agency (MDA), which helps retrenched mineworkers and their families through training centres in rural areas, the JB Marks Education Trust Fund, which has provided bursaries to 17000 students since 1997 producing 460 graduates over the same time, and the Elijah Bayari Memorial Training Centre, which provides leadership and business education, aimed at improving negotiations between unions and businesses.

"The opportunities that we have been involved in were opportunities where BEE has been required. However, our strategy is to now move beyond BEE requirements in our [future] investments," said Paul Nkuna, MIC's chief executive.

Pillay added that MIC was planning to invest in a number of new industries over the next few years including retail, telecommunications, property, leisure and agriculture.

"Besides new sectors that we're pursuing we're also looking at consolidating and taking bigger value stakes in our current investments," he said.