Anglo American Plc And South Afric What Do When Costs Reach Epidemic Proportions?
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CLOSING CASE: Anglo American PLC in South Africa: What Do You Do When Costs Reach Epidemic Proportions?
Anglo American PLC is the fourth largest mining conglomerate in the world. It currently operates in 45 countries. The original company, Anglo American Corp. of South Africa, was founded in 1917. The company is now headquartered in London. It is also the largest producer of gold in the world as well as it owns 85% of DeBeers, the world’s largest diamond producer. Anglo American’s South African workforce is over 100,000 permanent employees. Anglo American has a huge investment in South Africa and historically has been hit hard by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Importantly, it was one of the first corporations to develop a comprehensive, proactive strategy to combat the devastating effects the disease on its workforce and ultimately the repercussions on its operations.
Anglo American is also a member of the Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS, which is an organization focused on protecting the rights of infected workers by alleviating the effects of AIDS throughout the world. Anglo American announced in 2002 that it would provide free antiretroviral therapy to HIV-infected employees at its South African operation. The company has been instrumental, especially for a publicly traded company, in developing HIV/AIDS prevention education and training for their employees. For Anglo American it was not just an ethical decision, it was a decision with huge financial implications for the