Towards a tripartite partnership for sustainable development in the Rustenburg platinum region

Author: Boehme, Michelle

Development has always been problematic especially in the mining sector where it often takes place at a rapid pace. Not only is the physical environment influenced but other aspects such as legislation and the relationship between role players are also influenced. The focus of this thesis is tripartite partnership formation between business, local government and the community for sustainable development in the Rustenburg platinum region. In essence the study was about answering the broad question of "how can one improve the chances of setting up a sound foundation, that in turn can lead to a successful, integrated, cooperative and unified partnership in the Rustenburg platinum region?" In an attempt to answer the above, both a theoretical and practical approach was used. Functionalism and the exchange theory were used to set up practical guidelines for successful partnership formation. The thesis also investigated how appropriate these two theories are for the mining industry in South Africa today, i.e. they were validated against the data obtained from the study. In addition, other existing case studies in the mining industry were studied in order to validate the guidelines formulated from the two theories. At a methodological level, expanded qualitative data analyses were applied in a comprehensive manner to ensure a close relationship between empirical data and theory. The empirical data was gathered both by desk research and by in-depth personal interviews. The results of the study produced some models of how a partnership could be structured to function optimally. As part of the results an "ideal" model for the partnership in the Rustenburg platinum region was created and the set of guidelines was ranked according to its importance in the Rustenburg platinum region. Should these guidelines and this model be used the chances of setting up a successful, integrated, cooperative and unified partnership in the Rustenburg platinum region could be significantly increased.