Indeed, this is my last President Corner’s article as I prepare to hand over the baton to my successor and incoming President of the SAIMM, Mr Vaughn Duke. Twelve months has passed since I assumed the role – how quickly time has gone by. However, it is pleasing to point to a few meaningful activities during my tenure, viz.,
- The progress with the strategy development for the SAIMM under the leadership of Alastair Macfarlane
- The progress with managing our finances to reduce costs and chart our way to a positive balance, led by Vaughn Duke
- The prompt response to the impact of COVID-19 and hosting events online to continue our objective of delivering quality and professional knowledge to our members. The leadership of Isabel Geldenhuys and the TPC has ensured that the SAIMM continues to demonstrate its relevance and value-add to members
- Establishing a practice of continued learning and knowledge sharing among the Council members through presentations from industry and subject matter experts
- The response and adaptation to an ‘unavoidable digital environment’ by the SAIMM office staff as we were all forced to work from home. As I write this last article, the situation has not changed and is likely to prevail for a while longer
- Establishing a link with the Minerals Council South Africa, which has the potential to strengthen over time and as the industry evolves in its growth.
Looking ahead, I’ll continue to serve the SAIMM as a Past President, carrying on with the key workstream of Professional Development as delegated to me from the strategy development process. My commitment to and passion for the Institute (and the industry) has not waned since joining in 1992 as a fourth-year mining student at Wits. The Institute holds a privileged and unique role in the mining, minerals, and metals industry. As this industry plans for a resurgence and growth to contribute to the country’s economic development, we must all lend a hand to the strength of the Institute. In this regard, transformation is a critical area of focus for this strength building, recognizing and acknowledging the changed South African and industry context, especially in terms of people demographics. Transformation is not an organic process, but one that requires deliberate effort and resolve based on human development and progress for our country’s society – transformation has to remain top of mind and the Council’s agenda for the current and future leadership of the Institute.