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Zimplats Under Fire Over Poor CSR

Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Private) Limited (Zimplats) is under pressure to improve its corporate social responsibility amid reports that its South African unit run by the parent company Implats has transformed the community housing its investment which is now famously referred to as “Africa’s richest tribe”, on the back of their ownership stake in the platinum from their lands.

According to official figures, Zimplats mining base in Mhondoro contributes 37 percent of the Implats’ total output of 1,7 million ounces of platinum but the surrounding communities remain some of the most impoverished districts in the country.

While Zimplats will proudly report on its corporate social responsibility initiatives in impoverished Zimbabweans communities, such initiative has not had any significant reduction pf poverty across the affected Zimbabwean communities.

“While on the other hand Zimplats holding company in South Africa has allowed its communities to transform and secure themselves socio-economically through allowing them a direct share at the platinum table,” reads a dossier detailing how Zimplats is exploiting Zimbabwean platinum with little benefit.

A circulating dossier shows that the shareholding structure of Implats, the parent company to Zimplats is controlled by South Africa and United States with Zimbabweans having an insignificant stake.

This according to the dossier means, the US$85 million dividend shared in 2021 did not benefit Zimbabwe much compared to the named countries with significant stake.

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“Implats’ geographical distribution of beneficial shareholders as at 30 June 2022 will show that the representation of shareholders in Implats is far outweighed in favour of South Africa (47%), USA (22%), Luxembourg (4%), United Kingdon (3%), Singapore (3) Canada (2%). Zimbabwean shareholding is so insignificant that does not appear anywhere in its own right,” reads part of the dossier.

“In a rare event in June 2021 Zimplats declared dividend amounting to US$85,000,000. If the communities around Zimplats had been allowed to acquire their 10% as committed to by Zimplats in December 2011, then those communities would have carried a US$8,500,000 smile all the way to the bank.

“That amount, from just one year’s dividend, is far more than any corporate social responsibility Zimplats has socially invested in those same communities during 2020 or 2021,” further reads the dossier.

In 2021 Zimplats produced and delivered to Implats 579 000 ounces of platinum while its mines in other jurisdictions contributed less than half of the Zimbabwe subsidiary. Implats Canada produced 260 000 ounces, Marula, Two Rivers and Mimosa contributed 231 000, 300 000 261 000 ounces respectively.

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