The mill produces paper grade pulp for own and for market consumption, as well as newsprint, containerboard and dissolving wood pulp. It is located along the N4 national road in the scenic Elands Valley, 50km from Mbombela, the capital city of Mpumalanga province.
Conveniently situated amidst Sappi’s own commercial forestry operations, the mill produces 330,000 tons of paper pulp for own consumption, 210,000 tons of dissolving wood pulp and 380,000 tons of paper (newsprint and kraft linerboard used for packaging) per annum. 70% of the mill’s product is exported and the balance is used locally.
The mill generates its own energy in the form of steam and electricity from renewable and other sources. On average, the mill exports power to the national grid, helping to fuel the growing local economy.
The mill plays a positive role in the surrounding community by supporting a wide range of social upliftment programmes:
Skills development and training
Sappi established a local community upliftment-training programme to upskill people from communities surrounding the mill. To date Sappi has spent over ZAR3.8 million on this project, and more than 800 trainees have been trained in various construction and building related skills. The mill annually employs some of these upskilled locals to work on the annual mill shut. They are also employed on local contracts such as the upgrade of the Sappi Excalibur Lodge.
The mill is involved in several educational projects, including:
• Sappi Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD) — Sappi in partnership with the Penreach Teacher Development Programme has established an ECD Centre at a local rural school. Sappi funds the programme and also provides management, technical and other support.
• Programme for Technological Careers (PROTEC) — A national science and technology career development programme promoting technology literacy for learners in grades 10-12. Artisan training is also given to provide in the future needs of the company and community.
HIV/AIDS risk management programme
Our policy is focused on education, training and awareness programmes; the promotion of acceptance and transparency around the disease in the workplace and reasonable and appropriate support for infected and affected employees. The mill in partnership with non-profit organisation Northstar Alliance has established a primary healthcare clinic in Ngodwana to provide the surrounding community and long distance truck drivers with sustainable access to basic health care and safety.
We engage our employees as well as local businesses and non-government organisations to assist with ongoing and sustainable community outreach programmes that address: water and sanitation, improving school infrastructure, food schemes, blanket drives and home-based care. The main beneficiaries are orphan and vulnerable children, the aged and unemployed locals.