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Hatch and Transnet work together to bring lasting change to Northern Cape region

Johannesburg, South Africa—The Northern Cape region has seen lasting change thanks to significant investment in the local community involved in the construction of Transnet’s Manganese Rail Phase 1 Expansion project.

This project involved the upgrade of 114 km of rail lines and stations, and the construction of 3 km of new electrified track to increase the transport capacity of manganese from Hotazel to the Port of Ngqura to 16 million tonnes per annum. The project represents a R2.38 billion investment by Transnet and extends from Kimberley to De Aar and Rosmead. Hatch provided engineering, procurement, and construction management services for the construction phase of the project.

The ladies from the Women to Women shelter a participating NPO

The project brought much-needed employment to the remote Northern Cape region and provided skills development and training to local staff.  This was in part enabled by Hatch’s enterprise development (ED) and supplier development (SD) programmes, which aim to successfully develop majority black-owned businesses that will ultimately partner with or be used by Hatch on projects. Once project teams start utilising the services of an ED partner, that company then graduates and becomes an SD partner. On this project, five local companies ultimately achieved SD partner distinction.

“The fact that we were able to deploy our nominated partners on this critical infrastructure project was a particular achievement and is a true testament to a programme where all stakeholders share the vision of transformation through B-BBEE,” notes Rami Tlhapane, project manager at Hatch.

“In addition to focusing on skills development of staff and local suppliers, Transnet and Hatch were committed to finding opportunities to improve facilities and resources in the area, which often are lacking in remote regions such as the Northern Cape. Non-government organisations (NGOs), non-profit organisations (NPOs), and schools that could benefit from improvements were identified through consultation with the Department of Social Development and an independent analysis of the area’s needs.” says Shelley Ngubane, the project contracts administrator on the project.

In Kimberley, Greenpoint Primary School’s computer room was upgraded with 18 donated computers and the school’s toilet facilities were restored to working order. Another major community initiative involved distributing all furniture from the nine houses used during the project to various NPOs in the area, including a women’s shelter, a retirement home, and a facility for the mentally-handicapped.

Tlhapane concludes, “It is extremely gratifying that through partnerships with state-owned companies like Transnet, who are at the forefront of implementing the government’s objectives towards sustainable socio-economic transformation, that Hatch is able to provide innovative, sustainable solutions to solve the tough social and economic challenges faced by communities like the Northern Cape.  . We are equally proud of all of our diverse supplier development and community outreach initiatives, as these are an integral part of our commitment to building a sustainable future for all South Africans.”

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