It is one thing to come into a community and build infrastructure you consider best for the people, but it is far more beneficial to invest in their real needs and in projects that will leave a lasting impression. In line with Vedanta Zinc International's value system, BMM is committed to a sustainable socio-economic transformation and developmental agenda.
As part of this agenda, BMM has committed to invest over $250 000 (2014-2018) to improve the quality of healthcare services in the Namaqua region of the Northern Cape. We recognise that most of the income and productivity of the community is based on BMM operations, and believe it is right that we continue to form beneficial and collaborative projects that ensure the sustainability of the surrounding towns.
The Northern Cape population has a high incidence of cataracts, a major cause of blindness. In 2012, an immediate health care project was initiated, agreed upon with the Khai-Ma Local Municipality in partnership with the provincial Department of Health, African Vision and the South African Council for the Blind (SANCB). The Black Mountain Cataract Surgery Project which delivers needed cataract surgery to the Northern Cape, aims to relieve the current cataract surgery backlog affecting the aged and destitute in and around Namaqua and ZF Mgcawu districts.
Health clinics were initially held in Upington, Calvinia, Alexander Bay and Aggeneys and by December 2012, the Black Mountain Cataract Surgery Project had performed more than 47 surgeries. BMM expanded the initiative across the Northern Cape for the 2014-15 financial year to as far as Kimberley and Barkly West with plans to also contribute equipment that enables quality screening and post-operative care for patients.
For work on the Black Mountain Cataract Surgery Project, and surpassing the estimated target of surgeries, BMM was awarded the Health and Wellness Award at SAIMM's MineSAFE 2016 conference. BMM General Manager, André Trytsman, expressed his gratitude: "We thank you for helping Black Mountain Mining to make this project possible and aim to continue the project's success moving forward."