The importance of a people-centred approach for Corporate Social Responsibility: a case study of Welverdiend and the surrounding community

26 June 2014

Despite the contribution of mining to the South African economy, this industry has impacted negatively on the environment and society for many decades. These negative impacts are mostly evidence of poor corporate actions. Instead of contributing to society, it seems that mining companies, more often than not, neglect their corporate social responsibilities (CSR) mostly in the pursuit of financial profit. It has been well documented that it is mostly local populations, living close to mining operations, that pay the price of social and environmental damages and degradation, while the industry’s benefits are measured in economic and political terms. Such an imbalance between the economic, environmental and social factors makes Sustainable Development impossible to achieve. Welverdiend, on the Far West Rand of Johannesburg, South Africa, is a community paying a dear price in terms of social problems caused by mining operations. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of mining on the social wellbeing of Welverdiend and the surrounding community’s residents. In the light of these findings on different social issues, the research aimed to confirm the importance of a people-centred approach to Corporate Social Responsibility.