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Members from the Department of Communication Science, Unisa, under the leadership of Dr Elnerine Greeff extend an invitation to all SAIMM members to participate in the new research in the mining sector, which will focus on the history and contemporary perspectives of Fanakalo and Activism. The main objectives of the research will be to explore and describe the perceptions of those working, and otherwise engaged in this sector, as it pertains to these two phenomena, and as they manifest uniquely in the South African mining context.

To this end, we invite members to participate in interviews with the research team, which will
explore perceptions on:
1. Fanakalo (also Fanagalo)
It is often seen as a mystical phenomenon – without proven origins and with as many negative connotations (such as racist subtexts) as positive ones (such as solidarity). A whole host of research has been done on the philological aspects of the language, but little attention has been given to contemporary opinions regarding its use, and place, in the industry today. We would like to explore opinions to this effect.
2. Activism
In recent, postmodernistic views on organisational management, activism is seen as a positive phenomenon – as a symptom of a healthy organisation. The mining industry has a unique history concerning activism and in recent times, arguably, a uniquely negative application (or at least with negative consequences). We would like to explore where the line is drawn – how much activism is too much activism, and how do those situated in this industry view activism and its effects.

Our guiding approach is that a whole host of research (especially in the Humanities) presumes to talk to the industry, and not with or from the industry. We would like to help fill this void by documenting and exploring opinions in an academic and responsible way.
Should you wish to participate in this research excercise, please contact the project leader, Dr Elnerine Greeff in one of the following ways: Email:, Tel: 012 429 3886, Cell: 082 446 0351.

Please note that the SAIMM is only involved in facilitating this process and, should you want to take part in the research, you act in your personal capacity (opinions do not necessarily reflect that of the SAIMM, and participation is completely voluntary). All research participants, should they wish it, will be treated with the utmost and strictest confidentiality – anonymity in the research process can be secured.

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