The South African economy constantly experiences work stoppages, is gradually losing its pride and currently experiences decisive anomalous moments underpinning new operational perceptions. Mining organisations seem to be blamed for not doing enough social capital development initiatives, particularly in underdeveloped communities. This study examines in depth the role of a mining company’s involvement in an identifiable community in South Africa’s Bojanala District. Specifically, the study evaluates the steps followed in identifying needs and the usefulness of a mining-project designed to enhance capacity-building opportunities for young South Africans; a sustainable development initiative. Qualitative action research was used in this study to ensure a participatory approach of the data gathering processes to personal and professional transformation. Action research phases were followed in the manner of Maree (2014). The findings suggest that expectations for community development projects are greater in rural and peri-uburban South African communities. It was found that participants had a general inability to read, write, speak, listen and apply the mathematical proficiency that is needed in order to function effectively in an employment environment. The youth unemployment rate in the Bojanala District can be attributed to the gap between their level of education and the employment requirements. The miners are deemed to have a responsibility towards their communities and it is the youth of these same communities that look towards the mines for employment. Mining companies can contribute to education, skills development and training of the youth. If community engagement is taken seriously as a CSR strategic approach, this would enhance positive inter-relations between the mining companies and their communities.