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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Journal President's Cornerpages

A right to knowledge

Nelson Mandela said that ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’. Southern Africa suffers greatly from a shortage of well-educated people. However, it is a massive challenge to increase literacy, let alone to provide education for all people in the region, starting with early childhood education, through primary and secondary schooling, and culminating with university studies. But this is a challenge to which we must rise, as educated people are employable and have the capacity to build a better society, to create employment, and to reduce poverty.

A sense of belonging

Over the past few months, I have traveled to a number of faraway countries where the culture and customs are very different, and where a South African might be expected to feel alien and alone. However, in all of those places, I have encountered people with whom I have shared values or have found interests in common, and, as a result, there has been a sense of belonging and connection. This need to belong is a basic aspect of being human. Is this, perhaps, one of the things we look for when joining a society such as the SAIMM?

Mining in the Global Village

It has been just over fifty years since the concept of the 'global village' was introduced by Marshall McLuhan in 1964, yet it remains relevant to our everyday experiences. Modern communication technologies have seemingly shrunk the world even further since then.

Highs & Lows

Well here it is!

This is the last of my ’President’s Corner’ contributions for my 2014/2015 term of office and, as I commented earlier this year, time moves at an accelerated rate when you are busy. I have thoroughly enjoyed the past year. It has been characterized by the usual highs and lows in terms of our efforts to grow the reach of the Institute geographically as well as building greater relevance to industry and offering value to our members. The latter is critical. After 121 years of successful existence, our Institutional environment is changing faster than ever before. My message here is that we have to be proactive. The status quo is no longer acceptable.

Botswana Branch and Mineral Economics Division

In this month’s article I want to update readers about two important aspects of the Institute – firstly, the launch of the new Botswana Branch, and secondly the Mineral Economics Division of the SAIMM.

Hiring smart people

A number of papers in this month’s Journal deal with matters relating to longer term planning considerations in our hard-rock, deep-level mines (for example, ’Strategic and tactical requirements of a mining long-term plan’ by B.J. Kloppers, C.J. Horn, and J.V.Z. Visser). It is also really good to see some mining engineering-related topics in this issue, as they have been in short supply for some time now.

Where Has the Time Gone?

Can you believe that it is May 2015 already?

Nine times out of ten, when people of an older generation are asked this question it results in an impromptu discussion including remarks such as ’where has the time gone?’ or ’time seems to go by faster as you get older’. All of which is nonsense from Einstein’s perspective.

Occupations In High Demand In South Africa

I closed off my March President’s Corner by making the point that we are in the ’Age of Unicorns’ and that without strong math and science skills our future engineers and managers will not be adequately equipped to meet the needs and expectations of the national economy or for managing business complexity in the future.

Maturing Years

It may be a function of my ’maturing’ years but I am finding that the first two months of the calendar year are becoming much more of a challenge. One gets lulled in to a complete false sense that business and life are well under control, brought about by the shutdown of many companies over the holiday period.

Ideas and Innovations

On 30 January 2015, the Honourable Minister of Mineral Resources, Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi, issued a statement announcing the 2014 health and safety statistics for the South African mining industry. To quote, ’There has been a marked improvement in health and safety in the sector over the past twenty years, as result (sic) of renewed focus by the Department as well as collaboration with key stakeholders.’ Results over this period show an 86% reduction for all mine fatalities, thereby achieving the lowest ever number of fatalities in the mining sector in 2014.