Thobela (Sepedi), Sanibonani (Zulu), Molweni (Xhosa), Dumelang (Tswana), Goeie Môre, (Afrikaans) Good Morning colleagues and friends.
A special word of welcome to our esteemed guests: The Honourable Minister Mildred Oliphant, Minister of Labour; The Honourable, Mr Godfrey Oliphant, Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources; Director-General of Labour, Mr. T Lamati, dignitaries from the Department of Health, The Office of the Compensation Commissioner, executives representing several leading companies, The Chamber of Mines, organised labour, as well as the Chairman and Board of Directors of RMA, residents of the Rand Mutual Care Facility, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen. All protocol observed.
It is my privilege to welcome you to the launch of our brand new Rand Mutual Care Facility, here in Welkom, a city with tremendous potential and an excellent infrastructure. This area is steeped in history particularly in so far as the mining sector is concerned with the Welkom and Virginia gold fields having been in the top 10 of global gold production.
Through the years local business people have often said that for Welkom to remain sustainable it must diversify industry. Given the existing infrastructure and the many engineering businesses located in the area it seemed logical that Welkom would in time become a manufacturing centre.
As a business with a strong foundation, dating back more than 120-years, in the mining sector it seemed appropriate that RMA would open the long-desired Rand Mutual Care Facility in this central location, right in the heartland of the gold mining industry. This is our opportunity to give back not only to our beneficiaries and pensioners, but also to the community of Welkom from which we will be drawing our staff and suppliers.
Honoured guests, this facility has been specifically engineered with our residents and patients in mind so that they can live independently, with support that is tailored to their needs. Our custodial care residents, who require long-term care from RMA, moved in about a month ago and we trust that they are already feeling comfortable and well cared for in the new facility.
In a world that more often than not caters to able-bodied privilege, we seek to provide a realm that is adapted to our residents’ requirements so that they are, as far as possible, free from the limitations imposed by exclusionary infrastructure.
In this way, the everyday marginalisation perpetuated in the design of too many public spaces, representing barriers to equality, are minimised, if not eradicated here.
It is our ambition to create a world within this centre, where no one feels disadvantaged through structural influences. From our passionate and caring staff to the physical features of the building, the services and facilities provided as well as the socio-economic skills development, we are determined that this must be an enabling environment.
There is no pity or condescension within these walls, only the triumph of the human spirit and willingness to shatter limitations and surpass our expectations of what is possible.
We therefore warmly welcome you and extend our thanks once again for joining us in celebrating the launch of this centre of empowerment, care and, above all, constitutionally enshrined dignity. We appreciate your show of support for our residents, our new facility and the work we do.
I would now like to introduce the independent non-executive chairman of the RMA board, Dr Vincent Maphai, who brings a wealth of knowledge, as well as rich and varied experience to our directorate.
I now hand you over to our esteemed Chairman, Dr Vincent Maphai.