Sustainable Development Report 2010 Sustainable Development Report 2010

Harmony brings science, engineering and technology home

On 2 September 2009, Harmony entered into a R7.5 million sponsorship agreement over a period of three years with the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) to fund the National Science Olympiad and some of its associated activities.

The sponsorship from Harmony has enabled SAASTA to increase overall participation in the Olympiad and reach learners in rural and disadvantaged communities, many for the first time.

Harmony was also proud to be part of the National Science Focus Week, held from 27 September to 1 October 2009; and to sponsor five top South African learners to attend the Youth Science Forum in London between 27 July and 12 August 2010.

Harmony has initiated SAASTA projects in 17 schools within areas of Harmony's operations, an excellent opportunity to invest in the company's local communities and ultimately contribute to the future skills resources in the areas of science, engineering and technology (SET) across the country.

Learners in these schools have participated in a number of different SET-related projects aimed at giving talented young school learners the opportunity to develop their SET skills and the encouragement to pursue studies in one of these fields.

The top 35 learners from each of the 17 schools were invited to register, so that of the 20 833 learners throughout South Africa and the SADC countries of Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Namibia who registered, a very satisfying 5% (1 040) were from schools in Harmony's areas of operation.

We were proud to assist SAASTA with a successful SET role modelling campaign, active in our areas of operation. The campaign gave learners exposure to a range of potential career opportunities in SET, through discussion and interaction with many different SET career professionals.

The campaign was run between April and June 2010 and 850 learners were invited – the top 50 from each of the 17 identified schools. We were very pleased that of those 850, 698 learners attended, representing 82.1% of the targeted learners. The feedback was extremely positive from all involved and this will certainly be another project to look forward to next year.

SET camps for promising learners were also held during the year, which presented three days of experiments and hands-on activities to further improve performance in scientific subjects. A total of 422 learners attended, of which a significant 248 (58%) were learners from schools within Harmony's areas of operation. With the exception of Randfontein High School in Gauteng and Makgokolodi Masibe School in the North West province, learners from all of our targeted schools were able to participate.

All of these projects have made the first year of Harmony's partnership with SAASTA a resounding success. We eagerly await the opportunity to inspire more learners with new confidence in SET-related subjects next year, especially those within Harmony's home communities.