Sokhulu and RBM agree to implement trust reform and support long-term community benefit

26 January 2024
  • Established in 2009, community trusts were developed to deliver broad based benefit for host communities. 
  • RBM will provide immediate funding to the Sokhulu Trusts to enable it to continue funding programs in support of education and skills training.

RICHARDS BAY, South Africa -- Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) and the Sokhulu community trusts have reached an agreement to revise the existing community trust deeds and supplement the board of trustees, to enable the trusts to build on existing projects with a strengthened capacity to deliver long-term broad-based empowerment of the Sokhulu community. Established in 2009 as part of RBM’s broad-based black economic empowerment transaction, the community trusts were developed to enable members of the host communities proximate to RBM’s operations to benefit from an ownership interest in the company. 

The Trustees of the Sokhulu Community Development Trust and Sokhulu Public Benefit Trust, along with INkosi Mthiyane and members of the traditional council, entered negotiations with RBM to consider how to strengthen the trusts’ ability to deliver on their objectives. Working together, various improvements have been identified to align the trust governance structure and project delivery tools with current best practice. The focus remains on the delivery of broad-based public benefit to the members of the Sokhulu community, as informed by the needs of the community itself.  

The amended Trust Deeds have been lodged with the Master of the High Court and RBM has withdrawn the court proceedings against the Sokhulu Trusts. RBM will provide immediate funding to the Sokhulu Trusts to enable it to continue funding programs in support of education and skills training which directly benefit the Sokhulu community. 

The current trustees said “We are pleased to reach an agreement that enables our community to continue benefiting from RBM’s operations. Our priority has always been our community and ensuring we can continue to support our people’s development.”

RTIT Africa Operations Managing, Director Werner Duvenhage said “We thank the Sokhulu Trustees, the INkosi and members of the traditional council for their leadership in reforming and delivering meaningful and sustainable benefits for the Sokhulu community.” 

“We took this action in support of broad-based community upliftment and our long-term commitment to the host communities, the region and South Africa. We are grateful to play our part in helping the host communities to achieve meaningful upliftment from our operations through the operation of the community trusts.”

The court proceedings initiated in November 2022 are continuing against the remaining trusts, Mbonambi, Mkhwanazi and Dube. 

About Richards Bay Minerals (RBM)

Richards Bay Minerals is a world leader in heavy mineral sands extraction and refining. RBM mines mineral-rich sands in the northern KwaZulu-Natal province and produces materials used in a wide range of everyday products, from paints to smartphones. RBM is committed to sustainable practices and making a positive impact on the communities it serves.


Londi Sibisi 
Corporate Affairs Africa
M +27 72 552 0050

Zanele Zungu
Manager: Communications
M +27 83 382 1314


 Category: RBM