Nothing but the best is good enough 3
Tough times, but we’re up to it 4
To BBBEE or not to BBBEE – where are we? 5
The successes continue! 6
Optimum Coal is a Responsible Corporate Citizen 7
Optimum Coal team learns to manage diversity 7
Leadership Summit taking Optimum Coal into the future 8
Contractors asked to join in Zero Harm drive 8
Finance strategy session 8
movers and Shakers 9
Optimum Coal donation for road safety 10
more than ten years of accident free days 10
Transport department achieves 563 weeks without any incidents 10
Asiphephe: “Let’s be Safe” Training 11
The refurbishment of the two old mmS Overburden Drills 12
Safety Officer Training 12
Rescue project benefits community 13
Community development forum formed 13 FROm THE EDITOR
Optimum Colliery supports six learners 14
Optimum Coal gives back to the community 14 Hello everyone!
Co(a)lIective effort powers great race 15
Winner of the Reader Competition 15 elcome to another edition of Optimizer, packed with loads
VCCT CAmPAIGN 16 of information about what’s happening at Optimum Coal,
Optimum Coal celebrates Water Week 18 and the many memorable occasions and celebrations
Kwagga cruise to victory! 19 we’ve recently had!
Employees represent Optimum Coal at Comrades marathon 2009 19 Due to hard and uncompromising work by Optimum Colliery
Optimum Coal’s vuvuzelas promote Confederations Cup 19 employees, several milestones have been achieved, and you can read
all about them in this edition.
It is with sadness that our thoughts are with the Khoza family.
On page 4, Henry White talks frankly about safety and the loss of
John Rooi Khoza, who was fatally injured at the Boschmanspoort
underground section in January 2009. Losing a colleague is very sad
and we need to focus on and embrace Zero Harm during the rest of
2009, making every effort to work safely and care enough for our
colleagues to ensure that they do the same.
Editor: Joyce Packery I’d like to continue to encourage all Optimum Colliery employees
Tel: +27 13 296 5025 to share their experiences with the whole Optimum Coal team. Let’s
Email: email@example.com publish our successes and share what we learn throughout 2009.
Please remember to take photos at all your team or department
Typeset and designed by: Artworks Communications gatherings, whether they are social or work related, and bring them
to the Communication section for inclusion in a future issue. Keep
Optimizer is produced and published on behalf of Optimum Coal. All your contributions coming – without you, Optimizer would not be as
contributions to this publication are welcome and may be submitted to great as it is.
The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of
Optimum Coal. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted Best regards,
in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the editor.
Optimizer 2 Winter 2009
tHe ceo speaks
Nothing but the best is good enough
We are now a year old as a business. I would have liked us to perform better than we have in all the key
areas of safety, tons and cost. In all three, we have not delivered and the new financial year calls for serious
introspection and a review of how we will improve going into the future.
ue to the global economic turmoil that as good cash preservation. This should not create and well-being of our employees improve into
started in 2008, the world and different an impression that we were lax in the past, but the future.
sectors in almost all economies are it should highlight the fact that the landscape Our environmental management practices
still taking financial strain. We are not immune and the rules of the game have changed. We are have improved dramatically and it seems that
to these challenges and will therefore have now an established company and not just a new our image is improving, but I still wish to see
to ensure that we manage our business as company. We made a commitment to deliver on us doing better. We have to remember that we
efficiently and effectively as possible. The first Safety, Tons and Cost. I encourage everyone not are not the last generation. Lastly, we have a
six months of our financial year, from July to to lose focus but to make a contribution in this great country with great infrastructure, great
December 2008, was a honeymoon period as journey. resources, great people and the will to achieve.
we took over the business from BECSA. I believe In January we learned with sadness the I believe these are the ingredients to ensure a
we performed extremely well in migrating from news that John Rooi Khoza, a load haul dumper stable political environment, a vibrant economy,
BECSA to OCH, but we could have done better in operator working for contractor company social harmony and good and sustainable living
delivering on Safety, Tons and Cost. Coalcor, was fatally injured when a shuttle car conditions.
This means we have to operate with care and crushed him against the rib side. Again I wish to Optimum Coal is ready to make its
ensure that we all work safely. High coal prices extend our condolences to the family and friends contribution into the future!
last year created a form of enthusiasm that it of John, as well as his colleagues at Coalcor and
was possible to deliver expensive and ambitious Optimum Colliery. Mike teke
expansion projects. In most cases we did not To reiterate, Zero Harm is important to all Chief Executive Officer,
find it difficult to approve capital expenditure of us. my message in this area of Safety, Tons Optimum Coal
programmes. I strongly believe that the new and Cost is simple: “Nil satis nisi optimum”
financial year is about strict financial discipline (nothing but the best is good enough). While
and control, project and capital scrutiny as well Safety, Tons and Cost are our priority, we must
tackle other critical business challenges with
the same vigour. Optimum Coal is a mine with
competent and hardworking people. We would
Coal is ready
like to see the development of a strong people
strategy and action plan focusing on human
resources development, attraction and retention
to make its
of skills, delivering on all our transformation
and legislative commitments and harmonious
employee relations. Our stakeholder
management processes should be improved
and we also have to ensure that the lives
tHe coo’s Message
tough times, but we’re up to it
We are experiencing a year filled with the 2009 financial year are improving safety, and we can ensure that our organisation goes from
challenges, but these should not stop achieving our volumes and cost objectives in strength to strength. Each and every employee
us from performing to our optimal order to improve return on capital invested. We has a responsibility to see how they can continue
level. have started three major projects and we have to make Optimum Coal a better business.
to ensure that we implement them safely. We can Unfortunately we also experienced a sad
he year also offers new beginnings and only achieve this if we work together as one team incident in January this year, when Johan Rooi
new opportunities. We get the opportunity focused on one goal: operational excellence. Khoza was fatally injured at the Boschmanspoort
to show our resilience and team spirit as The first six months of the financial year have underground section. Our sincere thoughts are
we are now faced with the challenge of shaping not been worth celebrating on the safety front. with the Khoza family, friends and colleagues.
a new future for Optimum Coal. In so doing, There are, however, many good things we have We look forward to seeing continued
we can create a sustainable and positive future started. It is only through persistence that our improvements in Safety, Tons and Cost from all
for all employees and stakeholders. Let us all actions will reduce the number of injuries. I departments and this will change Optimum Coal
demonstrate in our actions that we care. urge all employees and contractors to continue from a good business to a great one! Please allow
Setting a clear direction is an important with our commitment and drive towards Zero me to take this opportunity to thank each and
element of everyday life, both at a personal level Harm, which will always remain our number one every person who has contributed to Optimum
and in the business arena, as it always has the priority. A”safety first” attitude will continue to Coal’s successes so far and to remind every
potential to contribute to growth. It is therefore become a way of life at Optimum Coal. employee that if you cannot get safety right,
important for organisations to set a clear direction managing a business such as Optimum Coal is our production performance is meaningless and
for all employees to follow. The challenges for not just about numbers and statistics; people are illusory. Let’s make the rest of 2009 great for all
our most important asset and we care about you at Optimum Coal.
as employees. We are in a critical period. Export
prices are coming down fast (the Australians, for Henry White
example, have cut back production by 30% and Chief Operating Officer,
have retrenched up to a third of their people in Optimum Coal
A”safety some cases), we are behind on all our targets
and budgets, and we have to keep on investing
in this business to ensure our future. The only
first” attitude way to achieve that is for all the Optimum people
to pull together safely, assist each other, devise
plans and even work that little bit harder and
will continue smarter, thus producing in excess of our budgets.
We cannot wait another day or week to improve.
We have to do it from today onwards. I would like
to become to encourage all employees and contractors to
hold on to our guiding principles of Safety,
Tons and Cost (STC). In so doing,
a way of life
To BBBee or not to BBBee – where are we?
Broad-based Black economic empowerment (BBBee) is one of
the most misunderstood and hotly debated issues – and it is
usually very poorly communicated. It stirs fears, resentments,
misgivings and feelings of inadequacy from all race groups.
many see it as a ‘compliance’ issue, some still believe it is only about black
ownership, others believe it only benefits a select few, whilst others see it as a
threat to their jobs or livelihoods.
In keeping with our Empowerment value, Optimum Coal wants to
unveil the mystery around BBBEE. The Broad-based Black Economic
Empowerment Act, 53/2003 (BBBEE Act) was passed in parliament in 2003 Employees who attended the BBBEE sessions.
and gazetted in January 2004, to establish a legislative framework for the
promotion of black economic empowerment; empower the minister of
Trade and Industry to issue codes of good practice and to publish trans-
formation charters; establish the Black Economic Empowerment Advisory
Council; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
The BBBEE Act is premised on promotion of the achievement of the
constitutional right to equality, increase broad-based and effective partici-
Your score counts
pation of black people in the economy and growth rate, increased employ- towards your
ment and more equitable income distribution. It further seeks to establish customer’s score and your supplier’s
a national policy on broad-based black economic empowerment so as to score counts towards your score
promote the economic unity of the nation, protect the common market,
and promote equal opportunity and equal access to government services. ➤ Systems, processes, procedures, structures and organisational capabili-
In the same year, the minerals and Petroleum Resources Development ties need to be reviewed going forward.
Act gave birth to the mining Charter and its scorecard. That provided a
The next step in this process was the Business Alignment Review exercise, that
framework for advancing the empowerment of historically disadvantaged
sought to get an accurate evaluation of the organisation’s ability to capture
South Africans, especially in the mining and minerals industry.
and consolidate BBBEE related information and supporting evidence, as well
Through our mining license application process, specifically our Social
as to make suggestions of possible solutions to the problems identified. Short-
& Labour Plan (SLP), reference is made to Optimum Coal’s undertakings
term remedies and long-term opportunities were both looked at.
to the Department of minerals and Energy (DmE). In 2005 various stake-
All this happened parallel to building organisational capacity. The mindset
holders started initial consultations on the BBBEE codes that set specific
Shift sessions were attended by Optimum Coal Heads of Departments, middle
targets to drive equity in all the elements of the BBBEE Act.
managers and Organised Labour Leadership.
Under scrutiny Optimum Coal has started a process of BBBEE verification that will culmi-
nate in an official rating as a BBBEE contributor and certification of that status.
The mining Charter and the progress made in the sector were reviewed
From here on we gear all our processes to improve continuously in order to
this past April. Every mining company’s progress on transformation was
show the rest of the country how it should be done. BBBEE is
reviewed. Optimum Coal was assessed against the set targets that we
founded on sound business principles and seeks to ensure that
committed to during our mining license application, specifically our SLP, and
we develop an economy where the majority participate mean-
the set targets on other elements as per the mining Charter scorecard. ingfully in as short a time-frame as possible
Where are we now? BBBEE is best defined as “a
new way of measuring profit” in a
BBBEE certification is the end product of a detailed and complex process. This manner that guarantees sustain-
process has begun in earnest in the various entities at Optimum Coal. The first ability through growth of the triple
step was to ascertain where we are relative to where we want to be given bottom line that promotes Finan-
our vision, values and transformation commitments. The outcome of this step cial, People and Environmental
was the BBBEE assessment report done by Empowerment Services. Out of this accounting.
assessment, an indicative score put Optimum Coal as a level 7 contributor to
BBBEE. The following recommendations were made: FACILITATORS: Sibongile
➤ Skills development, enterprise development and socio-economic devel- Shongwe (Transformation
Manager) and William
opment were earmarked as areas for improvement Dumisani Janisch
➤ Employment equity and preferential procurement could leverage focus areas (Empowerment Services).
Optimizer 5 Winter 2009
the successes continue!
Optimum Coal rolls out new corporate shirts
“Life is a journey” is a well known adage, and Optimum Coal is well on its journey towards being
a leader in the mining industry. Optimum Coal recently rolled out the new corporate shirts, which
employees have started wearing. The next challenge is to introduce new overalls (PPE).
is a Responsible Corporate Citizen
ptimum Coal takes its Corporate Citizenship seriously. This was further
evidenced when its leadership, represented by Henry White (Chief
Operating Officer), Busi Dlamini (Chief Organisation Development Officer)
and Frans Gume (Health & Safety manager), recently attended
the middelburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry General
Annual meeting and banquet.
They were there to bid farewell to the outgoing President
and welcome the newly-elected President of the middelburg
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Danie Walker.
The delegates at the banquet benefited from the
“Generations @ Work” theme. A four step methodology
was shared to help them obtain intergenerational and
➤ step oNe: Become a cultural learner
➤ step tWo: Understand your own culture as well as the
culture of other groups
➤ step tHRee: master the tools to navigate through differences
and even bridge some of them Henry White, Busi Dlamini and Frans Gume with newly-elected president of the
➤ step FoUR: Embed all these into an overall strategic programme Middelburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Danie Walker (left).
in order to create an interculturally intelligent company.
Optimum Coal team learns to manage diversity
optimum coal identified the need to empower employees through a intercultural intelligence training session,
presented by consulting and training company knowledgeWorkx.
he world is changing. In the essential relationships with society and
past there was relative cultural the physical environment.
homogeneity at the national level, Optimum Coal has identified a
but now diversity is the rule. And so need to empower employees with
governments and businesses now face intercultural intelligence so that they
two challenges: managing this diversity can face diversity challenges and
to ensure the peaceful coexistence of harvest opportunities brought about
the greatest number of people, and in successfully managing diversity.
maintaining and promoting diversity KnowledgeWorkx was assigned
by bringing it from the margins of the task of building Optimum Coal’s
society to the centre. internal capacity for the task at hand.
Securing a better future for all will without a doubt require sacrifices This training session was compiled to ensure the Optimum team had
and a fundamental examination of attitudes (including cultural attitudes) access to the expertise of world-class practitioners with knowledge of deep
and behaviours, and even of the most basic beliefs about the individual’s strategic change, local experience and change and project management.
Optimizer 7 Winter 2009
taking optimum coal into the future
A leadership summit was held at the beginning of the year. The summit had Continued business improvement is vital for Optimum Coal’s ongoing
four major objectives: success. Our competitors are getting better all the time and we have
Give a business update to the broader leadership to stay ahead of the pack by continuously improving our business. The
Create understanding, highlight focus areas and solicit feedback attendees were encouraged to learn from their mistakes, create innova-
Create a platform for the Executive Committee and the Operational tions, rise up to face their challenges and, most importantly, be committed
Leadership to network to Zero Harm.
Provide an opportunity to explore other external issues as they relate At the summit, the challenges for the 2009 financial year were high-
lighted. These included cost control, operational stability and working
to the business.
capital invested. These challenges can only be met if we work together as
The summit was attended by 105 members of the management team, who one team with one goal in mind: operational excellence. Leadership is now
all participated in a vibrant and engaging manner. adapting and living the Optimum Coal values.
Contractors asked to join in Finance strategy session
Zero Harm drive
mike Teke, CEO recently held a meeting with all contractors to
encourage them to join Optimum Coal in its drive to ensure Zero Harm
to employees. mike said one of the biggest challenges in attaining
the Zero Harm goal was to change the attitudes and behaviours of
contractor employees from a non-caring, fatalistic approach to that of
responsible citizens who care not only about themselves, but also take
care of and are responsible for their colleagues.
Contractors who do not abide by Optimum Coal’s guiding princi-
ples – Safety, Tons and Cost (STC) – will not be contracted for business
with the Company. “To succeed in the Zero Harm drive, we need strong
support from you as contractors,” said mike.
From L – R, Thys Marx, Thabo Memba, Michael Scott, Doug Gain,
Marius De Waal, Abe Nhlapo, Louise Taljaard, Hettie Botes, Louis Van
Staden, Jan Tolmay.
Doug Gain, Optimum Coal’s Chief Financial Officer recently held a
finance strategy session with some of his team from Optimum Colliery.
Building relationships and reducing costs by working smarter and more
efficiently is one of Doug’s major aims.
Optimizer 8 Winter 2009
MoveRs aND sHakeRs
omadlozi maria Sithole is a Blaster at
Optimum Coal. She joined Optimum
in 2004 and worked hard to get where
she is. She’s also currently studying to get her
mining Diploma, and her aim is to become a
Nomadlozi loves her job and believes that
Optimum Coal empowers and respects its
people because it is an accountable and reliable
company which trusts and cares for its people
saY Hello to and communities. dYnamiC isaaC taJe
siBonGile sHonGWe Nomadlozi is 27 years old and has two beau-
tiful daughters. “I am a friendly, energetic, intel- saac Taje joined Optimum Colliery in 2005
ligent, welcoming, able, productive, beneficial as Plant metallurgist at the HmS plant.
ibongile Shongwe joined Optimum and honest lady. I like to read and spend time He then moved to the Eskom plant and
Coal in January 2009 as Transformation with close friends and family. I also like to hike was later promoted to Plant Superintendent.
manager. She has 18 years of working and I love nature,” she says. In 2007 he moved to the Lab as the Labora-
experience gathered in various roles across Nomadlozi would like to thank everybody, tory/metallurgical Superintendent, and was
State-owned enterprises, Local Government, especially those in the Pullenshope Section, for recently promoted to Plant manager.
Provincial and National Government helping her to be where she is today. In his role he manages a team of dedi-
Departments and municipal-owned entities. cated individuals aiming to safely operate
In her role as Transformation manager, she the processing plant in order to produce both
is responsible for the development of the overall thermal and export coal for Eskom (Hendrina
transformation strategy in consultation with the Power Station) and the export market. His
element owners, coordination of implementation, day-to-day duties includes liaising with the
management of the transformation programme internal suppliers and customers, ranging
and mandatory reporting. from Engineering, mining, Finance, Logistics,
Her mandate includes researching and bench- Safety and Eskom.
marking appropriate transformation strategies to Isaac was born and bred in Bothaville and
meet the organisation’s transformation agenda, is the proud father of a beautiful daughter,
facilitating effective stakeholder engagement, Kgalalelo (4) and husband to Gugulethu. He
capacitating the organisation to deliver on is a great fan of soccer and a casual supporter
the transformation commitments, designing, of the Springboks, and enjoys spending time
developing and publishing reports relating to with his wife and daughter.
the transformation agenda, liaising with the
mining communities and coordinating the
transformation governance structures.
Sibongile is the proud mother of three
girls, mbalenhle (19), Sizakele (14) and
mathabo (7). She is a devoted Christian
who is passionate about people, driven
by excellence and humbled by gratitude.
saFetY aND pRoDUctIoN
Optimum Coal donation for more than
road safety ten years
afety is of utmost importance for Optimum
Coal and its people. It is a philosophy woven
into the fabric of Optimum Coal and it’s viewed free days
as a never-ending challenge to continuously
provide humanitarian assistance when possible.
Optimum Coal recognises health, safety, envi-
ronment and community responsibilities as an
integral part of overall business management.
Optimum Coal sponsors the employment of
Frans Gume, Health & Safety Manager at Optimum
two traffic officials and one vehicle to improve Colliery with Jackson Mthembu, MEC Mpumalanga
law enforcement visibility, which can prevent acci- Road & Transport.
dents. Optimum Coal, through Optimum Colliery, the sufferers of road accidents free of charge at
responds to road accidents that occur on the the scene of the accident, be they mpumalanga
N11 and R104 in the Kwagga area by dispatching inhabitants or tourists. he Band C shifts of extraction and expo-
their rescue vehicles and emergency personnel. This process is seen as a contribution that sure have each achieved 520 weeks
Optimum Coal is also proud to announce that will not only benefit Optimum Coal employees, (10 years) of accident free days. This
they sponsored the Radio Kragbron Easter Rescue but the safety of the communities around the outstanding achievement was reached
Project Campaign, which focuses on responding operations that are subjected to incidents even though there were lots of changes in
to accidents using the rescue vehicles, including a caused by reckless driving and unroadworthy management, conditions, equipment and
helicopter and ambulances. Striving to give back drivers and vehicles. new technology.
‘life’ to our community, Optimum Coal assists Not withstanding all these factors, the
teams stayed focused on Zero Harm and
Transport department achieves
achieved this milestone. This is proof that
all teams can work for extended periods
563 weeks without any incidents without incidents.
Let this be an inspiration to all other
teams of what can be done if the strive
towards Zero Harm comes from the heart.
These teams were not only committed to
eliminating harm, they also performed well
in production and cost. We hereby challenge
other teams to commit themselves to achieve
the ten years accident free milestone.
afety is a cornerstone of our business. At Optimum Coal the safety of our workers is an absolute
priority that should never be compromised. Congratulations to the transport team, which recently
achieved 563 weeks without any safety incidents. This is a true reflection that all injuries can be
prevented by doing the basics: risk assessments, four steps to safety, safety observations, near miss
reporting, safety talks and by using the red stop cards.
Optimizer 10 Winter 2009
saFetY aND pRoDUctIoN
asiphephe: “L ’s S f ” training
Proud Optimum Coal staff members received a group of optimum coal employees recently
their certificates after the recent Aslphephe:
“Let’s be Safe” training.
completed the asiphephe: “Let’s be safe” training
ith safety being one of the Company’s
core priorities, this session was both
topical and empowering, as the delegates
received information about issues relating to
health and safety in the mining environment.
They were trained on how Optimum Coal
operates as a company – the ‘rules of the
game’, so to speak. They now also know
more about available tools, techniques
and processes, empowering them to
perform their jobs optimally. They were
also exposed to information on systems Above: Christo van Zyl gives feedback from the Asiphephe:
“Let’s be Safe” training.
and processes that can support their
personal development. At the end of the
training session each delegate received
a certificate of completion. This type of
training session is important to Optimum
Coal, as it develops our people and
enables them to truly be at the centre of
Left: Collins Kgaria was awarded for making the
best suggestion on the day. He suggested that
all light vehicle drivers spend time with a 777
rear dump truck operator in the cab of the truck
while in operation. This will be an opportunity
for light vehicle drivers to experience the safety
risks from an operator’s point of view, making
them aware of the importance of sticking to the
EME and light vehicle segregation rules.
The refurbishment of the
two old MMs overburden Drills
In the previous financial year a decision was made by by the Planner, Solly mashale. Some of the spares had to be imported from
management to purchase two DMM-2 overburden Drills abroad through the OEm (Original Equipment manufactures). Although a
from Middelburg Mine services. these machines were lot of reverse engineering took place, many alternative suppliers were used
deemed to be at the end of their lifecycle as per Middelburg in order to complete the machine in an acceptable budget and timeframe.
Mine services’ replacement policy. A large amount of components had to be stripped and refurbished by a
number of suppliers, as these components are not off-the-shelf items.
s the Supervisor of the Overburden Drill Section, Arnold Visagie has The same principles applied to the refurbishment of the second
a lot of experience on these and similar machines, so he took the machine. The team had a bit of an advantage with this machine as
challenge with both hands and started with the planning and organising Arnold and the contract supervisor, Jan Labuschagne utilised some of the
of the refurbishing process. Although he had some assistance from personnel during the rebuild on the first to start with the removal of the
different levels within management, he took ownership of the rebuilding major components on the second. This optimised the workforce whilst they
process. Arnold and his team, which consisted of personnel from numerous were waiting for the components.
companies, took total responsibility for the two projects and succeeded Congratulations to Arnold Visagie and his team for another magnificent
without any accidents. performance.
After the green light was given by management for the refurbishment This project proved yet again, that no matter what a person’s knowledge
process to continue on the first machine, planning, organising and and background is, if the individual or team members are willing and able,
recruiting had to take place, and the identified spares had to be ordered any task is possible through good leadership and coaching.
safety oﬃcer Training
Congratulations to Colin mhlanga, Safety Officer at the Project Department
at Optimum Colliery for achieving 96% for the mine Safety training at
Carletonville. He was the top student with the best marks.
Henry White (COO) congratulates
Colin on his achievement.
Optimizer 12 Winter 2009
Rescue project benefits community
optimum coal is a truly south african mining group, Optimum Coal proactively participates
and black controlled mining group in activities that benefit all South Africans, especially
with economic empowerment as a key
the communities in which it operates.
One of these activities was our sponsorship
ptimum Coal regards its role as an employer of the Radio Kragbron Easter Weekend Rescue
and provider of empowerment and economic Project on 30 march this year. I wish to extend
welfare as an important one, especially in these my sincere gratitude to the capable team at
challenging economic times. We have a team of Radio Kragbron for initiating and coordinating
highly talented people with recognised relevant this project.
experience and skills in coal mining who create Optimum Coal salutes the volunteers who
prosperity for our shareholders, our people, as were willing to assist road accident victims during
well as the communities in which we operate. this time and we hope that this sponsorship
In fact, the Optimum Coal Community Trust is shows our gratitude for the great work they do
a key shareholder in our company. Through the with the assistance they give to road accident
trust, various community initiatives are funded, victims in our province. In this way, we at
adding value to the lives of the people around Hennie Smit (Radio Kragbron MD) hands over Optimum Coal can really live our values while
the contribution certificate to Mike Teke (CEO,
our operations. This means that our business helping to save the lives of fellow South Africans
success benefits our people, our region and our on mpumalanga’s roads. Too often people do not
province. wellness and safety of our people and the recognise the valuable and selfless work done by
Safety is of the utmost importance for communities in which we operate. emergency staff at the scene of an accident.
Optimum Coal and its people. It is a philosophy Easter is always special period, when Thank you also to the project for covering
woven into the fabric of Optimum Coal and it is families spend quality time together. It is also the N11 from the N4 to Hendrina, ensuring that
viewed as an ongoing challenge to continuously the time when our roads carry more traffic, and our employees who worked over the Easter
provide humanitarian assistance when possible. with it, a higher risk of road accidents as holiday weekend were in good hands. Thank you to all
As part of the Optimum Coal values, we place makers travel to their destinations. who have made mpumalanga’s roads safer over
a high premium on care by looking after the As an empowered South African controlled this period.
community development forum formed
Community Development Practitioners in the
District municipality of Nkangala in the mpuma-
langa Province have agreed on the establishment
of an official and voluntary Community Develop-
ment Forum. The nature of the Forum is a collective
grouping of Community Development Practitioners
from the private sector in the District which can be
regarded as a ‘Business Caucus’. membership of
the Forum is only open to Community Development
Practitioners working in the private sector within
Front Row (from left to right): Sibongile Shongwe (Optimum Coal), Rejoice Phiri (BECSA),
the Province. Christian Peter (BECSA), Lindiwe Phakathi (Anglo Coal), Tumi Masemola (Xstrata Coal),
Colbert Nduzulwana (Koomfontein Mines! Siyanda), Mokhine Makgalemele (Anglo Coal).
Back Row: Phuthi Ngoetsana (BECSA), Mzimkulu Koyo (Exxaro).
Optimizer 13 Winter 2009
Optimum Coal supports six learners
optimum coal offered bursaries to six
students to help them further their
studies. this was part of our community
Optimum Colliery selected the six hard-working
learners with the help of their schools and the Steve
Tshwete Local municipality. The six students are:
Sthembiso Prudence Skosana, currently studying a
BSc Degree in mining Engineering at the University of
the Witwatersrand (she obtained three distinctions);
Lunga mandisa Lukhozi, currently studying a BSc
Degree in Electrical Engineering at the University
of Pretoria (he obtained two distinctions); martin
moeng, currently studying a BSc Degree in mining
Engineering at Wits (he obtained four Cs and Bs);
Thamsanqa maseko, currently studying a B Com
Degree in Accounting at the University of Pretoria (he
obtained one distinction); Portia mandoyi, currently Henry White (COO) welcomed the students to Optimum Colliery. They attended the five-day Asiphephe:
”Let’s be Safe” training. From L – R: Sibongile Shongwe (Transformation Manager, Optimum Coal),
studying a B Com Degree in Finance at the University
John Moukangwe, Percy Haskins (HR Manager, Optimum Colliery), Martin Moeng, Sthembiso Skosana,
of Johannesburg (she obtained two Bs, two Cs and Thamsanqa Maseko, Portia Mandoyi, Lunga Lukhozo and Henry White.
one A); and John moukangwe, currently studying
Electrical Engineering at Vaal University (he obtained
optimum Coal gives back to the community
optimum coal donated R422,656.14 to panorama primary school. the donation will be used towards upgrading and repairing
the school’s toilet facilities. optimum coal also donated R34,200 to the Radio kragbron easter Rescue project 2009.
Below: From L – R: Hester Arlow (Radio Kragbron Project Coordinator)
and Hennie Smit (Radio Kragbron MD) accept the cheque from
Above: Henry White and Panorama School Principal Ben Lampbrecht with
some of the pupils.
Co(a)lIective effort powers
sound the whistle, shovel the coal! things are really heating up for the 23rd
Rotary greatest train Race on saturday, 22 august with the confirmation of
an equal main sponsorship this year by coal mining companies optimum coal,
anglo coal and BHp Billiton energy coal south africa.
Mike Teke (CEO, Optimum Coal) shakes hands
with John Brislin (Race Convenor) at the signing
ceremony for the sponsorship agreement.
t’s man (and woman) against machine as the financial and marketing contribution is testimony
human factor is measured against a train to this commitment,” said mike Teke. “I wish
drawn by a coal-powered steam locomotive. For to thank Rotary and all those contributors local community projects.”
the 17th year, Optimum Coal will supply coal from who came before us for their efforts. Optimum The Rotary Greatest Train Race remains a
our Optimum Colliery to power the locomotive. Coal is committed to the success of the Rotary community investment project driven by the
Last year, 13,000 participants joined in the Greatest Train Race. We are taking up the baton community for the community. Adding value to
fun and it was the first time Optimum Coal to continue their great work, contributing to the the quality of life in the community is a key pillar
participated under its own banner shortly after community spirit.” at Optimum Coal and care is a fundamental value.
the vibrant company was formed. more than 850 Speaking at the launch of the event John Twenty-five percent of the company is owned by the
Optimum Coal employees ran or walked in the Brislin, 2009 Race Convenor said, “The financial people who work for it and by the Optimum Coal
race, or participated in other ways. and logistical support received from our sponsors Community Trust. Optimum Coal is an empowered
Optimum Coal will again be there in full during the 2008 event enabled us to stage an South African company with the vision to add value
force, with committed support. “Our significant event that generated more than R650,000 for to the region and the country.
entry forms are available from Joyce packery, communications
For further enquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 013 296 5025
Winner of the
Congraulations to Naphtal mdebele, serviceman at
Eikeboom siding, for winning our reader competition.
He got the following question correct:
Q: What are optimum coal’s values:
a: • Empowerment
>Naphtal with his prize.
Optimizer 15 Winter 2009
H e a Lt H
optimum coal takes action: empower yourself and know your status!
I know my status… I’ve
Optimum Colliery recently hosted its second Voluntary Counselling
and Confidential Testing (VCCT) campaign for all employees
(including contractors) so that each employee is empowered by
knowing his/her HIV/AIDS status.
We are very excited to announce that this year’s campaign
was very successful, with a large percentage of all our employees
deciding to test. HIV/AIDS is a great concern and a reality – a reality
that we need to take seriously and deal with vigorously!
Optimum Coal will need the support from each and
every employee and contractor to take responsibility,
share knowledge about HIV/AIDS and make sure you
know what your status is!
Employees who participated in the VCCT
campaign received incentives, as well as the
opportunity to participate in the cell phone
H e a Lt H
Winners of the vcct cell phone coMpetItIoN!
H e a Lt H
Optimum Coal celebrates
ater Week is celebrated annually during the month of march and
includes a series of events to promote water conservation and
celebrate our successes with regards to securing the rights of all citizens
to have access to clean water. Water Week gives us the opportunity
to draw attention to the water related issues in South Africa, and to
impress upon all citizens the key role they play in protecting our water
resources and to ensure that our resources are not polluted.
The key goal of Water Week is to raise the profile of water as a
key resource for socio-economic development, hence the need to
educate people on the importance of protecting and conserving this
limited resource. The Water Week programme this year was somewhat
different to previous years, in that there were events taking place
throughout the month of march.
The theme for Water Week 2009 was ‘Water is life – Securing the
Nation’s needs across generations’. The focus of this year’s activities
was to reinforce a culture of conserving and using water sparingly.
It is important to remind South Africans that our country is classified
amongst the driest countries in the world, hence the importance of
ensuring that the little water we have is protected from pollution and
conserved to achieve efficient use. This requires careful management
of this valuable resource so that government is able to extend basic
water services to every citizen whilst meeting the needs of economic Water usage and conservation are set as measurable environmental
growth and without threatening the environmental integrity of our indicators which form part of the mine’s performance measurement for
water resources. management and their subordinates.
There are therefore a number of areas for which action will be required Optimum has commenced with the construction of a water treatment
where cooperation will be absolutely necessary, and these are: plant that will collect and treat affected water from the mine to potable
Ensuring safe drinking water and sanitation for all (Government standards. Part of the treated water will be supplied to Steve Tshwete
role) municipality for commercial and domestic use, while the other part
Ensuring increased water use efficiency (individual and corporate will be used in mining processes. The expected commissioning of the
citizens) plant is in 2010.
Increasing the protection of water resources (rivers, springs, dams Research programmes are set in place for Optimum to irrigate
and groundwater) rehabilitated land with mine water as part ofwater conservation and
Responding positively to the impact of climate change. reuse.
Optimum Coal has the following programmes running in support of our World Water Day was celebrated on 22 march under the international
country’s water conservation plight: theme ‘Trans-boundary Water’ (sharing water, sharing opportunities). It
Optimum is reusing affected water at operations such as the coal was a pleasure to be part of the water solution. Keep on doing your bit to
washing plant and for dust suppression so as to reduce usage of secure the Nation’s needs for generations to come.
Optimizer 18 Winter 2009
Kwagga cruise Employees represent Optimum
to victory! Coal at Comrades marathon 2009
Optimum’s Kwagga indoor cricket team
recently competed against the Bloukaas
team from middelburg and the challenge
was on to win the sought after trophy –
which we did! Back row, from L – R: Gerhard
Vermaak, Hercu Nel, Hennie de Jager,
Wemer du Plessis, Willie Versveld, manie
Kriel. Front row, from L – R: Leon marais and Henry White congratulates Optimum Coal employees Hezekiel Hlophe (right) and Herbert Van Zyl (left),
and handed them branded tracksuits and caps for participating in the Comrades Marathon.
Optimum Coal’s vuvuzelas promote
Optimum Coal recently donated
1000 vuvuzelas to the Steve
Tshwete municipality. The
mayor, mrs manhlakeng
mahlangu took them on
a roadshow to promote
Cup. The Optimum Coal
branded vuvuzelas were
distributed to the commu-
nities in the Steve Tshwete
Vuvuzelas bring joy to local The Mayor, Mrs Manhlakeng Mahlangu and her team blowing the Optimum Coal
learners. branded vuvuzelas.
Optimizer 19 Winter 2009
new mining and engineering graduates
optimum coal’s new mining and engineering graduates
were welcomed by the chief operating officer,
Henry White on their first day.
From L – R: Henry White (COO, Optimum Coal), Wiseman Dladla (ER Manager, Optimum Colliery), Philasande Maseko, Ronald Teffo,
Felicia Zikalala (HRD Manager, Optimum Colliery), Brian Mathipha, Aubrey Mokone, Muzikayise Maseko, Sizwe Moroku, Thabo Zulu,
Percy Haskins (HR Manager, Optimum Colliery), Thabo Thobedi.