The SAIMM is a professional institute with local and international links aimed at assisting members source information about technological developments in the mining, metallurgical and related sectors.
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A monthly publication devoted to scientific transactions and specialist technical topics is unlikely to be on the priority reading list of the majority of the mining and metallurgical community. But it is the ambition of the Publication's Committee to make the Journal of much wider interest to our general membership from technician trainees to mine managers to CEO's of our constituent companies. It is to entice general readership that some 1200 words of valuable space are devoted to the Journal Comment each month. This is intended to highlight some of the features and impact of the papers to excite and activate attention.

To entice this preliminary glance before confining the publication to the book shelf or even the wpb, the author has to call on a large measure of journalistic licence in style, titles and quotations. It is essential to be spicy, controversial and even provocative to separate it from the abbreviated authoritative but necessary scientific style of the bulk of the contents.
The Journal Comment aims to be an enticement to dig into some important feature of the papers in the issue. For this reason it has been decided to include it as a separate item on the Institutes Web Site. This might provoke those who enjoy twittering, blogging and googling to submit comment and criticism, all of which will be welcomed and responded to. At least it is proof that somebody has read it.
R.E. Robinson


‘A government study across a number of countries showed that, when it came to paying skilled workers, South African wages were at the bottom, but, when it came to paying managers, they were at the top’ Alec Erwin: Address to the Metal and Engineering Union Bargaining Council.

There was good news and bad news from the Minister of Public enterprises.
The good news was that the government was planning to spend R320 billion in the next five years on the Public Sector infrastructure development plan.
The bad news was that as much as 40% of this might have to be spent outside South Africa because of the decline in capabilities of the private sector as a result of deterioration of skills and expertise.