Established in October 2010, the Phalanndwa Colliery open cast coal mine serves as a source of livelihood for the community of Delmas, Mpumalanga. Management has shown a concerted effort to ensure training and development at the mine’s cost for the employees to get upskilled and work ready to take up the positions available.

When it comes to ensuring the sustainability of a sector, maintaining job creation, through advancing staff and creating opportunities for synergistic opportunities between the private sector and public sector is key.

Phalanndwa Colliery has done an exceptional job in ensuring that their advancement and growth impacts the community directly through:

1. Learnerships

2. Bursaries

3. Skills development

4. Bursaries, Internships and Employment opportunities

5. Procurement, SMEs and supplied services

6. Wellness programmes

Transformation has been used many times very loosely without any real KPIs and the fact that Phalanndwa has been tracking their achievements and monitoring their various programmes shows that they are not just pay lip service to the need for reform and improvement in the mining sector.

Mining is still predominantly thought of as a male-only industry and that frame of reference should also be dispelled if we are going to be ensuring that there is an intersectional approach to policy formulation and implementation as a means of advancing value creation within the sector. Everyone that works for the industry – othered bodies included – should all be represented equally in terms of opportunities and upward mobility. This is important if the intent is to drive a transformed agenda in mining.

True transformation lies in promoting human rights, economic development and active citizen participation through gender equality in terms of both paid and unpaid labour. The industry may not have it all figured out, but this is a great start.

By Zimkhitha Mathunjwa

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