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Sunday, 21 December 2014 05:05

Speech for former executive director, Anglo American, South Africa

The executive director's speech for a year-end function; written to brief for multinational mining company Anglo American as a 'prompt' for an informal address. I was responsible for research and writing.

 

"Ladies and Gentlemen, dear colleagues, welcome…

I’m not going to detract from all the wonderful food and entertainment that has been prepared for us by speaking to you for very long…

I just want to say a few words about the year that has passed and wish you all well for the upcoming festive season.

It was a good year for Anglo American, we had favourable annual results in February and our interim results were also positive; we embarked on significant expansion projects and acquisitions and our social responsibility programme continued to flourish, with new community improvement initiatives, a number of them driven and supported by many of you here today.

None of the year’s achievements would have been possible without all your efforts and commitment. We strive to live our brand: real people, making a real difference; and these upbeat results speak for themselves; these are our values in action. You can even feel it in the mood of the room today. (Or is that just because it’s nearly the end of the year?)

Without detracting from today’s celebratory mood, I must however take the opportunity to also mention one of our core values: zero harm. Unfortunately we haven’t had such a sterling year in that respect. During our recent safety day and minute’s silence we remembered our colleagues who lost their lives this year – and as we celebrate today, we must still be mindful of the utmost importance of safety in our industry; even for those of us in this relatively safe working environment, and of its importance in our daily lives.

So, like any year – the good with the bad. But back to the good. It fills me with pleasure to stand here today and see such a diverse group of people in one place. And it’s our place – our place of work. Take a moment to look around you. This organisation is truly reflective of our rich, multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-talented nation - isn’t it?

Let’s take today’s celebration as an opportunity for us to value the things that are similar among us, as well as those things that are different between us, because that’s what draws us ever closer to each other as colleagues and friends. It is to this that I partly attribute our successes this past year.

I thank you once again for the hard work and commitment you have all shown to Anglo American this year. That every one of you played a very special part in our unique achievements has not gone unnoticed.

To that end, without delaying the celebrations a moment longer, please remember to travel safely if you are going away for the holidays, return to us safely, and wherever you spend your holidays don’t forget to please have a wonderful festive season.

Enjoy today’s event.

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Robert Colman

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