Cultiver Launches ENGAGE!, a Platform to Bridge the Gap Between Large Mining, Renewables Projects and Local Communities

Engage Ambassadors-opt

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of ENGAGE!, a first-of-its-kind purpose-built community engagement platform designed to foster authentic inclusivity and minimise social risks in large-scale renewables, mining, and other infrastructure projects.

Following a year of successful pilot implementations at Enel Green Power’s 147 MW Karusa and 147 MW Soetwater Wind Farms, ENGAGE! is now poised to make a significant impact across South Africa and Southern Africa.

A word from our CEO 

Fezeka Stuurman, our CEO, highlighted the essence of ENGAGE!, “While mining, renewable energy, and infrastructure projects are vital for economic development and community upliftment, marginalised communities often remain excluded from the benefits of these projects and are vulnerable to potential negative impacts. ENGAGE! is designed to ensure these projects advance in a way that is genuinely inclusive, just, and socially responsible.”

How ENGAGE! works

Our tech-supported platform offers numerous features to enhance communication and interaction between projects and communities:

  • Toll-Free Communication and WhatsApp: Available Monday to Friday, 08:30 to 16:30, allowing community members to voice concerns or raise questions in any of the 11 official South African languages.
  • Trained Community Ambassadors: These ambassadors act as liaisons, ensuring that communications are secure, unbiased, and inclusive.

In developing the platform, our team at Cultiver drew from more than a decade of experience working on-the-ground with communities and providing innovative and impactful solutions to social challenges for clients, including Enel, Scatec, Implats and Conservation SA, among others. 

The benefit of ENGAGE! for projects communities

The pilot phases of ENGAGE! have shown great results:

  • Community empowerment: Local communities now have a better understanding of project benefits and are more actively involved in dialogues about project development. This has led to increased support and participation in projects, enhancing the overall success and acceptance within the community.
  • Stakeholder relationships: Improved interactions between communities, project owners, and local organisations, leading to enhanced project execution and community satisfaction.
  • Benefits for project owners: Project owners benefit significantly from reduced conflicts and smoother project implementations. The insights gathered through ENGAGE! enable more effective management of community expectations and contribute to more robust social responsibility strategies. This proactive management helps in safeguarding the projects against potential delays and disruptions, enhancing overall efficiency and profitability.

In their words

Shirene Gouws from the Laingsburg Thusong Centre shared, “We know the importance of serving the needs of rural communities, building connections and giving a voice to individuals who might be unheard, in order to promote the resilience and prosperity of the community. The ENGAGE! platform has provided the community with great support and indispensable resources, narrowing the gap and strengthening the relationship between communities and infrastructure project owners to help advance economic development efforts,” 

Dr. Holle Wlokas of INSPIRE noted, “ENGAGE! is an innovative tech-supported platform that really excites me. By enabling the real-time lodging of information and grievances, it can strengthen project owners’ relationships with communities and complement engagement strategies in natural resource-based businesses for better social performance.”

Other ENGAGE! features

  • Accessibility: No cost to host communities, ensuring that everyone can participate.
  • Transparency and integrity: Adhering to ISO principles, ENGAGE! maintains high standards in all interactions.
  • Insightful reporting: Provides project owners with evidence-based insights for informed decision-making.

Learn more

For more information or to discuss how ENGAGE! can benefit your project, please contact us at engage@cultivergroup.co.za.

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