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July 2012

“A dedicated sense of inspiration and visionary leadership is needed to address the many challenges the mining industry is facing. The current debates in our country centre on poverty, inequality and unemployment.” So said mineral resource minister, Susan Shabangu, in her keynote address at the inaugural mining Lekgotla held in Midrand from 5 to 6 June.

The Lekgotla was attended by about 1 000 delegates from the top echelons of South Africa’s mining companies, government and trade unions.


In partnership with the Department of Education, Grantleigh School, and private enterprise, Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) recently launched the technologically advanced Titanium Maths and Science Centre, situated within easy reach of communities in the Richards Bay area.

The centre will address South Africa’s skills shortage through professional intervention at school level, focusing on the critical learning areas of maths and science and language through the Bambisanani Learning Community Programme (BLCP).


Mine workers of all ages who have little or no formal education are being trained and empowered through an innovative adult literacy programme.

Impala Platinum mine has teamed up with Johannesburg-based adult education specialist, Media Works, to establish a training facility at its Rustenburg mine where Media Work’s adult basic education and training (ABET) course is presented.

The training facility focuses on helping to improve the lives of the employees, not only from a career perspective, but also through developing personal skills.

There are a great number of employees who are eager to learn and who have signed up for the ABET course, recognizing that adult education can help them create a better future.

One such employee is Nicholas Olivier, a 27-year old learner from the Free State, who has only had formal education up to grade 9. Olivier had problems at home and did not have the opportunity to study further.

“I came to work on the mine eight years ago to support myself and heard about the ABET course,” he says. “I immediately saw it as my opportunity to further the education which I could not do in my youth.”

Although he could not read and write properly and had difficulty with maths, the ABET course has helped him grow his skills and even excel in these subjects.

“I now feel that I am moving up in the world and that I can realize my dream of becoming an engineer. I don’t want to be a rock drill operator all my life. I want to further my career,” he adds. “I now have hope and wake up smiling everyday because I am learning so much.”

Solomon Letsie, 52, also believes the Media Works ABET course is giving him the opportunity to grow, especially with regard to learning English.

Previously disadvantaged when growing up and having to leave school early, Letsie did not have the opportunity to obtain a proper education and learn English.

Today he is almost fluent in English and says: “The course has taught me how to communicate better with management and understand what it is I’m expected to do. There is no longer confusion and misunderstanding at work, I am also learning other skills, like using a computer, which will help me a lot to grow in my job.”

The hunger for learning is almost tangible among the learners, each motivating the other to do better.


Grahamstown-based Rhodes Business School and Anglo American have announced that they will partner in the Global Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI), a worldwide network of companies and learning institutions uniquely focused on developing the next generation of globally responsible leaders.

The partnership will create an opportunity for members to communicate with many of the world’s leading players in the field of sustainability to develop the next generation of responsible leaders.

The GRLI engages in thought leadership, advocacy and projects to achieve measurable impact. Rhodes Business School embraces the integration of sustainability considerations into the MBA programme, which is closely aligned with the sustainable development integration focus that Anglo American has adopted.


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