West Wits is working with communities to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships based on trust and respect, ensuring the success and sustainability of both business and community.
Rehabilitation and Infrastructure
A key element to community engagement has been the rehabilitation of historical, near-surface mineworks and the removal of access to old mine shafts. This has enabled landowners to extend urban development, including low cost housing, parks and playing fields.
Sol Plaatjie Soup Kitchen & Community Development Centre
In Sol Plaatjie, West Wits is building the infrastructure of a local community development centre. This includes laying the foundations, installing the toilet block, connecting gas & electricity, converting a sea container into an office block and more.
This centre provides meals to the underprivileged and unemployed in the area, with a focus on the young and elderly.
Once the sea container is converted to an office block, similar to Mandelaville Crisis Centers computer lab, the centre will extend its program into community development projects.
West Wits has sponsored several local community members seeking employment through a market garden program.
Vegetable Production Project
The project teaches skills in how to grow vegetables, sell produce at the bustling Johannesburg market and invest proceeds back into ongoing projects to create sustainable benefits for the community. Any excess produce is also distributed amongst the disadvantaged in the community.
West Wits is engaged with the Mandelaville Crisis Centre, established in 2002 to provide services aimed at combating poverty.
West Wits has donated three desktop computers to the computer lab, furthering the reach of Mandelaville community programs through multiplying the number of students that can be taught in a single class by approximately 50%.
The donation has subsequently enabled the resource-starved Crisis Centre to continue to work in partnership with government and its local community, fulfilling centre’s aims to enhance the lives of South Africans.
The centre is used for a variety of programs, including:
- Adult Computer Workshops, which increase computer literacy in the local community,enhancing the prospect of job growth.
- The Business Development Program. A 12 month program, run weekly, which develops participants’ entrepreneurial skills and techniques that enable them to develop their ideas into job opportunities.
Supporting Entrepreneurial Pursuits
In 2018, the West Wits senior management team donated their collective time and expertise to help build entrepreneurial skills and techniques within the local community.
They teamed up with the Mandelaville Crisis Centre’s twelve-month Entrepreneur Program to participate in a classroom session modelled on the investment show Shark Tank.
Participants spent five minutes pitching their business ideas to West Wits’ Chairman, CFO and Mine Manager who acted as the investor panel, offering feedback and asking questions at the end of each pitch.
The process offered participants unique insights into how they can develop their ideas into potential business opportunities that could work for both local and international markets.