Ekapa show­cases work on its mines

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - News - PATSY BEANGSTROM NEWS EDI­TOR

A NEW video pro­duc­tion, which show­cases the work Ekapa em­ploy­ees do on a daily ba­sis, pro­vides an un­prece­dented view into the mines.

The cen­tral theme of the re­cently re­leased video is, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, the un­stop­pable drive by the com­pany’s em­ploy­ees to con­tinue pro­vid­ing for the peo­ple they care for.

“It is this drive that has en­abled Ekapa and the com­pany’s em­ploy­ees to en­sure that the di­a­mond mines in Kim­ber­ley con­tinue to op­er­ate sus­tain­ably de­spite hav­ing to fend off some of the worst in­ter­na­tional crises in liv­ing mem­ory,” chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for Ekapa,

Jahn Hohne, said yes­ter­day.

“The video show­cases the work Ekapa em­ploy­ees do ev­ery day in and around Kim­ber­ley, cel­e­brat­ing them as peo­ple who find pride in an hon­est day’s work and who make real sac­ri­fices to con­trib­ute to the sus­tain­abil­ity of the com­pany they work for and for the thou­sands of peo­ple who de­pend on them for their liveli­hood.”

Hohne added that be­ing proud to pro­vide was part of the Ekapa fam­ily DNA.

“It is tan­gi­ble among our em­ploy­ees. We recog­nise and ap­pre­ci­ate it in Ekapa among our own peo­ple, but we also see this in the broader min­ing sec­tor em­ploy­ing thou­sands of hard-work­ing South Africans across the coun­try who find their pride in pro­vid­ing for their loved ones.”

He stated that it was “noth­ing less than in­cred­i­ble” that Ekapa suc­ceeded in 2019, with the val­ued sup­port of the whole Ekapa team, to save the com­pany from the di­a­mond mar­ket crash.

“The com­pany’s em­ploy­ees will­ingly ac­cepted a 12.5% banked re­duc­tion in salaries for the com­pany to re­main cash pos­i­tive and sur­vive this cri­sis.

“The salary re­duc­tions and other ex­treme mea­sures im­ple­mented at the time to save Ekapa re­sulted in a com­plete re­cov­ery of the com­pany and full re­im­burse­ment of all salary re­duc­tions just in time be­fore the in­ter­na­tional coro­n­avirus cri­sis struck early in 2020.”

Since for­mal min­ing started 150 years ago in the city, the di­a­mond mines in Kim­ber­ley stopped pro­duc­tion only in very ex­treme cases. These in­clude only ma­jor events such as the great de­pres­sion in the 1930s and the Se­cond World War in the 1940s.

“This gives per­spec­tive to the tem­po­rary clo­sure of the di­a­mond mines in 2020 as part of the South African na­tional lock­down and the ex­treme mea­sures that were im­ple­mented to sur­vive the ex­tent of the in­ter­na­tional Covid-19 pan­demic,” Hohne ex­plained.

The com­pany, how­ever, was not spared be­ing drawn into the world­wide Covid-19 pan­demic which ef­fec­tively shut down lux­ury goods and most di­a­mond re­tail sales for sev­eral months around the world.

“This should have had the ef­fect of shut­ting down all di­a­mond min­ing. But, thanks to the full sup­port of all our em­ploy­ees again vol­un­tar­ily ac­cept­ing par­tial salary sac­ri­fices as well as tem­po­rary banked salary re­duc­tions as part of the bold and so far suc­cess­ful Covid-19 sur­vival project, Kim­ber­ley Mines, as Ekapa to­day, re­mains in busi­ness and right now ap­pears to be ben­e­fit­ing from a resur­gence and re­cov­ery of a world-wide di­a­mond mar­ket.”

He added fur­ther that “in this out­stand­ing feat of sur­vival there is no­body else to take credit than the peo­ple work­ing for Ekapa”.

“The process of salary re-ad­just­ments, re­coup­ments and get­ting back to nor­mal is un­der way and will be rec­ti­fied in the next sev­eral months,” Hohne stated.

“As an un­ex­pected con­se­quence of the Covid-19 pan­demic Ekapa has recog­nised that an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity man­i­fested it­self in that the board and man­age­ment dis­cov­ered new and unique struc­tures and skills of rein­vent­ing the com­pany to be highly stream­lined and cost-ef­fec­tive, which is greatly im­prov­ing the long-term bot­tom line eco­nomics of the en­tire busi­ness. These struc­tures and skills have now been adopted for con­tin­u­ance and ben­e­fit for long be­yond the pan­demic.”

The com­pany pointed out that it was ex­tremely proud of its em­ploy­ees and what the Ekapa team has ac­com­plished.

“We know they are proud too of what they do ev­ery day to pro­vide for their fam­i­lies.

“How­ever, we are aware that it is not pos­si­ble for our em­ploy­ees to show their fam­i­lies their every­day work en­vi­ron­ment in un­der­ground and on sur­face min­ing ar­eas due to safety pre­cau­tions we have in place. The new video pro­duc­tion now gives an un­prece­dented view into the mines and what our em­ploy­ees do ev­ery day. They can now share their pride with the peo­ple they are proud to pro­vide for.”

The video will be fol­lowed up by a longer, more in-depth pro­duc­tion show­cas­ing the work Ekapa and its em­ploy­ees do at the in­ter­na­tion­ally known and fa­mous di­a­mond mines in and around Kim­ber­ley.

Pic­tures: Sup­plied

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