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IZA Africa forges ahead to promote hot dip galvanizing in 2024

06 December 2023: The International Zinc Association (IZA) Africa is committed to continue to promote and educate the public about zinc applications in Africa next year, says Executive Director Simon Norton. “We will launch a new publication in early 2024 dedicated to providing technical support to engineers and designers around galvanizing steel. We will also focus on final-year students and educating them about hot dip galvanizing.”

IZA Africa offers engineers and designers assistance to select the correct zinc coating for any civil or mechanical engineering application. It has a permanent materials expert on hand to offer advice and tap into the association’s international resources and expertise base if need be.

IZA Africa has also secured significant commercial research funding to investigate the feasibility of new zinc refining processes to meet South Africa’s own demand for refined zinc, while using locally produced ore and concentrates. The research aims to develop and understand novel refining processes to significantly reduce the external power input compared to traditional pyrometallurgical processes.

It will allow for economically viable production of SHG refined zinc. Ore usage may be further maximised by producing refined by-products such as silver and rare earth elements. The research work is being carried out at the University of Cape Town’s Department of Chemical Engineering under the leadership of Professor Jochen Petersen, along with sponsors Vedanta South Africa and Duferco Steel Processing.

IZA Africa promotes zinc via publications, webinars, seminars, and presentations at professional institutes by offering expertise in the application and detailed specification of galvanized steel, galvanized wire, and continuously galvanized steel sheet for buildings, fencing, reinforced concrete, and structural steel.

The largest proportion of refined zinc used in South Africa and Africa is for hot dip galvanising and continuous galvanizing. Zinc coatings are powerful tools in the fight against corrosion of steel in deep mining, coastal steel structures, for reinforcing steel in concrete, and on atmospherically exposed steel structures.

The zinc application expertise offered by IZA Africa benefits construction projects and steel-related industries. Zinc galvanizing is a powerful corrosion protection medium that ensures the longevity of steel structures, particularly related to essential infrastructure such as rail infrastructure, mining, power generation, and renewable energy.

“Road and rail infrastructure is essential to transport people and goods, support economic development, and empower communities. However, such infrastructure is often exposed to various environmental factors that can cause corrosion, such as moisture and sea spray salt. Corrosion can compromise the safety, performance, and durability of road and rail infrastructure, leading to increased maintenance costs, reduced service life, and potential accidents,” explains Norton.

The focus on renewable energy has also placed the spotlight on the role played by zinc, especially in energy storage. The World Economic Forum (WEF) states that the metal plays a critical role in enabling green technologies like solar and wind. As the world transitions to a low-carbon economy, zinc will continue to play a key role in supporting clean energy technologies.

A case study that demonstrates the effectiveness of zinc to protect steel against premature corrosion is the fencing of land in South Africa. IZA Africa conducted an 11-year atmospheric corrosion exposure programme that involved exposing various wire-coating types at different locations countrywide.

These locations were deemed to be representative of the range of atmospheric conditions typical of agricultural environments in South Africa. The results showed that zinc-coated steel fencing was the most effective in protecting steel against premature corrosion. Recently, De Beers Venetia diamond mine installed hot dip galvanized steel in its new deep underground shafts near Messina in Limpopo Province.

Looking to 2024, Norton says IZA Africa will forge ahead with its seminar and webinar series about the application of zinc to protect steel against premature corrosion. It provides electronic and hard copies of its various publications, such as ‘Essentials of Galvanizing’, ‘Rapid Guide to Galvanizing for Consulting Engineers’, and ‘Zinc Matters’.

These seminars and publications give practicing consulting engineers insight into the specification and application of zinc-based coatings. Topics covered include zinc-rich paints, their composition, selection, and pitfalls; the advanced specification of galvanized steel; and zinc thermal sprayed coatings for steel structures such as wind turbine towers and even shipping.


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Notes to the Editor
To download hi-res images for this news article, please visit and click the International Zinc Association link to view the company’s press office.

About the International Zinc Association

The IZA is the only global industry association dedicated exclusively to the interests of zinc and its users. Operating internationally and locally through its regional affiliates, the IZA helps sustain the long-term global demand for zinc and its markets by promoting such key end uses as corrosion protection for steel and zinc as being essential in human health and crop nutrition. IZA’s main programmes are Sustainability & Environment, Technology & Market Development and Communications.

In South Africa, the IZA plays a vital role in establishing the basis for the successful revitalisation of the zinc industry by increasing awareness of zinc and its applications and benefits in key sectors and markets, which will ultimately translate into the increased uptake of zinc.

International Zinc Association Contact
Simon Norton
Executive Director

IZA Africa
Phone: (021) 788 9980

Cell: 082 831 2924

Media Contact
Rachel Mekgwe

Empowering Women Leaders in South Africa

Empowering Women Leaders in South Africa's Mining Sector: A Prerequisite for Sustainable Growth

In a world where industries are striving for gender inclusivity, South Africa's mining sector lags in empowering women for leadership roles. Carla Clamp, Director at BDO South Africa, sheds light on this issue, drawing from her experiences at the annual Women and Leadership in Mining Conference.

“South Africa's mining, a cornerstone of the nation's economy, holds an undiscovered treasure—untapped potential within its women. It's time to spark a dialogue and action by highlighting the urgent need to empower women in this vital sector”, says Mining Superintendent Dolly Masilela from Exxaro Resources. She, along with other inspirational women leaders gathering to share valuable insights and guidance for the future of female leadership in this industry at the event.

According to the 2020 World Bank report, women comprise of just 15% of the global mining workforce, and in South Africa, despite a promising increase from 11,400 in 2002 to 56,691 in 2019, they still represented a mere 12% of the total mining labour force of 454,861 people. With mining increasingly becoming one of South Africa’s most important industries, the sector is ripe for transformation and closing the gender gap must be made a priority.

One of the most pressing challenges facing women in mining is a disproportionate gender pay gap because of occupational segregation. Women are often concentrated in lower-paying administrative and support roles while men dominate higher-paying technical and operational positions resulting in a persistent gap in pay estimated to be around 15% on average. This disparity highlights the urgent need for women to ascend to leadership roles within the industry.

We simply cannot ignore the imperative of having more women in leadership positions as the crucial caveat in transforming the industry. This is about so much more than just achieving gender equality; it's about disrupting the industry's future, fostering innovation, and driving sustainable development. Masilela says: “The mining industry is no stranger to tradition and long-established practices. However, disruption in this sector should not just be a buzzword; it's an essential force driving progress, sustainability, and competitiveness. South Africa's mining sector is sitting on a goldmine of untapped talent in the form of women. By disrupting the deeply entrenched gender status quo, breaking down barriers and encouraging women to take on leadership roles, the industry can access a diverse pool of skills, perspectives, and experiences that have been historically underutilised.”

First and foremost, increased female representation in leadership positions is essential to combat gender inequality and promote inclusivity. Historically, women have been underrepresented in the industry due to stereotypes and biases that have limited their access to opportunities and career advancement. This systemic exclusion perpetuates gender inequalities and hampers the sector's potential for growth. By actively promoting and supporting women in leadership roles, we can challenge these norms and provide much-needed role models for young women aspiring to enter the field.

Another aspect where female leadership can make a significant difference is in environmental stewardship. Mining, by its nature, has a substantial environmental footprint. Women leaders, who often have a stronger track record of environmental consciousness and sustainable management, can help steer the industry towards greener practices that safeguard the environment for future generations while ensuring the sector's long-term viability.

Women are also showing their prowess in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, and their inclusion in leadership positions can accelerate the sector's digital transformation. As the industry becomes increasingly driven by data analytics, automation, and artificial intelligence, diverse perspectives are crucial for harnessing the full potential of technology.

Beyond these economic and environmental imperatives, there is also the issue of community development and social responsibility. Mining operations often have profound social and cultural impacts on the communities where they operate. Women leaders are more likely to prioritise community development, education, and healthcare, fostering a more inclusive and socially responsible mining sector. This not only benefits local communities but also helps improve the industry's image, reducing conflicts and resistance from affected populations.

So what do we need to do to ensure that more women are able to access and take on more leadership positions?

Masilela says that it begins with recognising that women are ready to take their place at the helm. “South Africa's mining sector has the potential to be a beacon of progress and transformation, not just economically but socially and environmentally. To harness this potential fully, we must empower women to take their rightful place as leaders, innovators, and drivers of change within the industry.”

First off the bat, mining companies should actively work to challenge and break down gender stereotypes by promoting success stories of women who have excelled in mining roles, highlighting their achievements and contributions. Take for example, women like Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita, and Bridget Radebe who shattered the glass ceilings and whose stories are testament to the power of determination and vision. Across the sector, women too can take on pivotal roles and challenge stereotypes, but they must be recognised and be made examples of.

There needs to be a much greater investment into education and training. Mentorship programmes and apprenticeships that specifically target women are essential. But just as essential is support beyond these programmes. We must make sure that women are not over mentored and then under sponsored. Programmes must provide support for women at all stages of their careers, right through to leadership roles.

Developing inclusive workplace cultures that prioritise diversity and respect is also crucial. Part of this is relooking at all aspects of the female experience – from working ablutions, to safe and secure changing areas, to personal safety and respect both on and off the mine, we must start to hold leaders accountable for creating a safe and respectful space for all employees.

The demanding and often remote nature of mining jobs can conflict with women's caregiving responsibilities, making it difficult for them to balance work and family life. Much more needs to be done in recognising and accommodating these challenges. Mines could start by offering more flexible work arrangements, including remote work options and family-friendly policies.

As we journey towards a more inclusive and equitable mining sector, let us remember that when we empower women, we empower the future. With some of the largest mines in the world, South Africa's mining sector has an opportunity to lead by example, to prove that our mining legacy is not in the minerals beneath the earth but in the strength and resilience of its women. Learning to unlearn is the cornerstone of success for women in the mining sector. By shedding preconceptions and embracing change, women can not only succeed but also lead the industry towards greater inclusivity, innovation, and progress.

Thought Leadership Article

Gone are the days of grocery vouchers as an incentive for mineworkers

How mines can empower mineworkers financially and boost safety and productivity

By Steve Mallaby, CEO, adumo Payouts

19 October 2023: The mining industry in South Africa has played a pivotal role in the nation’s economy for decades. Export data from the South African Revenue Service indicates that, for the first half of 2023, the value of mined material exports was R575 billion.

According to Statista, the industry is home to a substantial workforce, with 475 561 mineworkers employed in 2022. The platinum group metals sector is the largest employer of all mineral commodities with 172 159 employees. These statistics indicate the continued importance of mining to South Africa’s economy, contributing an impressive R493.8 billion to GDP in 2022.

The implication, however, is that many suppliers to the mining industry, whose fortunes are intrinsically linked to the performance of the mining sector, only do as well as mining itself. In our case, we have maintained a degree of resilience due to our unique solution offering.

Our journey into the mining industry has evolved organically over time, with a notable milestone being our partnership with one of the industry’s major players since 2012. At that time, they were handing out grocery vouchers as an incentive for their workers. We proposed a more versatile approach by introducing prepaid adumo debit cards, enabling mineworkers to use them for a wide range of needs. This marked the inception of a transformative approach that has evolved since then.

When handing out multiple grocery vouchers as a production or safety incentive, why not use the same instrument? Our solution enables mines to replace paper vouchers with a dynamic card that can be continually topped up as needed. These cards serve various purposes, including:

  • Incentivising mineworkers for early/late shifts and working overtime or public holidays.
  • Introducing an incentive aimed at health and wellness, such as getting vaccinated during the Covid-19 pandemic, or if mineworkers voluntarily elect to be tested for HIV.
  • Linking incentives to achieve or maintain certain key production targets.

Our solution is simple and scalable, catering to the diverse needs of operations in the mining industry, which often employ thousands of workers. Whether a business or corporate client has five or 5 000 staff, scalability goes hand in hand with flexibility.

For instance, if a mine hits a specific target at say 15:00 on a Friday, by the time the mineworkers return home at 18:00, the money is already loaded onto their adumo debit cards in real-time. We provide our mining clients with two options: they can supply us with the load instruction and details, or they can manage the process themselves via their dedicated self-service portal. In our experience, we have found that the mines prefer to interact directly with our team, building close personal relationships as a result.

In our unique approach, the corporate mine is our client and, by extension, the mineworker too becomes our client. If they have any query about their card, such as the balance, they can conveniently access an online portal, use a USSD code, or contact our multilingual team that offers support in all 11 national languages. This inclusivity builds trust and ensures effective communication, whether the mineworkers are from the Northern Cape or the North West.

It is important to note, that while the onboarding process is exceptionally quick, the sales process in the mining industry can be lengthy, as it is necessary to secure buy-in from various internal (finance, human capital, safety, etc.) and external stakeholders (trade unions). While we do not interact directly with the trade unions, they have been very supportive of the adumo solution, as it places the mineworkers at the core of the process.

Interestingly, most of the interactions and decisions occur at the mine level rather than at the mining house level. We have also engaged some of the junior miners to gain a better understanding of their needs in terms of employment, production, and safety.

At the heart of our solution, and the tangible benefit, is the focus on safety and production targets, which are top-of-mind for the mining industry. Production is uninterrupted if there are zero incidents, plus there is no attendant negative publicity and impact on the community, especially in the event of fatalities. By adding a human dimension to these targets through our incentivisation solution, we can influence positive behaviour.

The crux of the matter is that many miners fall on the lower end of the LSM scale, facing substantial debt, and have garnishee orders on their salaries. That presents a significant challenge when trying to incentivise workers. While mining companies make efforts to disburse incentives, the prevalence of garnishee orders hinders the desired behavioural shift.

When a mine partners with us, we disburse the funds directly onto each of the mineworkers’ adumo cards. The incentive payment is still processed through payroll to ensure compliance with tax authorities such as SARS. However, mineworkers now have their individual adumo debit cards, ensuring the funds are exclusively theirs, ultimately increasing their spending power.

Our approach is finely tuned to drive behaviour and engagement. For example, when a mine hits multiple targets relating to different safety initiatives, they instruct us to carry out three separate payouts. We also send an SMS communication to all mineworkers congratulating them on each of these milestones as part of our reinforcement strategy.

Recognising and rewarding good behaviour, such as being conscious of safety measures or reaching a safety milestone, provides a tangible benefit. Suddenly it makes sense to mineworkers as it impacts them directly. They become more safety conscious and are motivated to reach production targets, even willingly working on public holidays. This benefits the mine, fostering the correct behaviour, increasing production, and ultimately boosting shareholder value.


South Africa's mining industry employment by commodity 2022

South Africa: mining employment 2011-2021 | Statista

Four facts about the mining industry (2019) | Statistics South Africa

Big Brother or BFF? Govt’s quest for total information

Big Brother or BFF? Govt’s quest for total information

By Philip Tillman

The Financial Action Task Force’s greylisting of South Africa has had a severe knock-on effect on businesses in the country. According to the task force, money laundering is a significant risk factor in the South African economy, and tighter controls are needed to close any gaps.

In response, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) are establishing a register that holds more detailed information about the control and beneficial properties of organisations.

SARS gathers this data through income tax returns, and the CIPC gathers it through the new declarations inherent to annual returns. This means that companies and trusts can’t maintain their compliance with these institutions without supplying their beneficial information.

If you own a company or several entities, you’re probably familiar with the CIPC deadline to disclose a beneficial ownership register.

This deadline — which lapsed on 1 October 2023 — signals the start of greater corporate transparency in South Africa.

There are several challenges companies should be aware of, however. The first is the enormous administrative burden this task places on businesses, especially those that manage several legal entities. Even if they have the best of intentions, it’s possible that they may struggle to comply, which could result in costly fines.

Another key issue involves understanding who qualifies as a “beneficial owner”. A beneficial owner is an individual or entity that directly or indirectly holds a substantial interest in a company, essentially wielding significant control or influence over its operations. For large corporations with diverse portfolios, identifying these beneficial owners among large numbers of companies can feel like navigating a labyrinth.

This challenge goes beyond the initial identification. Keeping this information updated is equally critical. The CIPC's register is not a one-time obligation. Instead, it requires continuous monitoring and reporting. This becomes a herculean task for corporations that own multiple subsidiaries, each of which regularly experiences changes in ownership and control.

But there’s no doubting the value in this journey. Identifying beneficial owners isn’t just a compliance requirement but also an ethical responsibility and a matter of reputational risk. Investors, customers, and stakeholders are increasingly concerned about companies’ ownership structures. They want to know who’s calling the shots and who bears ultimate responsibility. Failing to identify beneficial owners can damage trust, erode corporate reputation, and lead to potential legal consequences.

To navigate this, corporations must adopt a proactive approach, starting with a thorough due diligence process to map out their corporate family tree and identify beneficial owners. Next, they must establish robust internal processes and systems to ensure ongoing compliance. Regular audits and checks are essential to maintain an accurate beneficial ownership register.

Another way of addressing these requirements is using software that holds the information and can proactively ensure the check occurs. Imagine a solution that makes it easier to maintain accurate, beneficial information to ensure 100% compliance. At Konsise, we’re working with SARS and the CIPC to achieve precisely that.

The October deadline presented an opportunity for corporations to take the lead in demonstrating responsible corporate governance. Failing to comply with SARS and CIPC requirements can result in penalties and tarnish a corporation's image. The public is increasingly scrutinising corporate behaviour, and failing to demonstrate a commitment to transparency can be costly. In the end, being open about their corporate ownership structures is a challenge that corporations should willingly embrace.

Philip Tillman is the CEO of Konsise, a top tax software solution that combines the functionality of Excel, SharePoint, Outlook, and SARS eFiling into a single platform, allowing South African businesses to manage their tax obligations efficiently. Konsise is especially powerful for large companies looking to more easily manage the tax compliance of multiple entities in a single platform.

ABB launches global Young Engineer Exchange Programme to attract next generation of talent for its hoisting business line


  • International, two-year programme offers graduates overseas rotations in Canada, Australia, Poland, South Africa, Sweden or China, including direct customer work at mining sites
  • Programme seeks to address talent shortage in the global mining industry
  • Programme is open to all types of engineering graduates eager to work on the latest technology and build a more sustainable future

In a strategic move to bridge the burgeoning skills gap in the global mining industry, ABB has launched the Hoisting Young Engineer Exchange Programme to attract the next generation of talented engineering graduates to a career in mine hoisting. Young talent can apply for the program via the dedicated landing page.

The international, two-year programme features time spent in the participants’ local engineering teams, followed by a couple of overseas rotations in ABB’s key hoisting markets, namely Canada, Australia, Poland, South Africa, Sweden or China.

Within each rotation, graduates will learn about the latest industry technology and have the chance to apply it directly on ABB’s customer sites. Unlike many traditional training programmes, ABB’s new programme has an individually tailored schedule and involves direct customer work.

“The global mining industry is facing a significant talent shortage – we’re seeing that demand is already outstripping supply, and there is much competition in the market to attract young engineering talent,” said Lisa Gustavsson, Global HR Business Partner at ABB. “This is why we’re excited to launch this global exchange programme for young engineers. We are giving young talent the opportunity to truly make a difference and work on some of the most exciting mine sites in the world. It’s a significant step to ensuring that that the business will continue to attract the best talent in the market to serve our customers and build a world-class organization while contributing to a more sustainable future.”

As ABB’s hoisting business is growing rapidly, the company is looking to strengthen its organisation on both the project and service side, including senior employees with deep technical expertise as well as young graduate engineers.

“For our customers, the mine hoist is a business-critical application, and it is among some of the most technologically advanced solutions in their operations,” said Björn Jonsson, Global Business Line Manager, Hoisting at ABB. “To deliver such projects, we need the best people to work closely with our customers from design to execution and servicing the technology throughout the lifetime of the hoist.”

“The nature of work in the mining industry is changing. There is growing demand for data and digital literacy skills. To build a successful and sustainable business for the future, we also need to attract a different kind of talent,” said Jonsson.

The mining industry plays a pivotal role in building a more sustainable economy. The availability of metals and minerals will decide the pace of the global energy transition. To continue to responsibly extract the metals essential for electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels – copper, gold, and iron, among others – deeper mines will be needed. For this, mine hoists offer a low-carbon, reliable and safe solution to transport ore from great depts.

ABB has been a leader in developing world-class hoisting solutions for over 130 years. Powered by electricity with the possibility to run off renewable energy sources, hoists are a future-forward solution. To date, ABB has delivered over 1 000 hoisting solutions globally. As the sole supplier of complete mine hoist systems, customers can benefit from low lifecycle cost, high reliability and system availability, short project execution time, and a single source of supply for complete systems, including service and spare parts.

ABB will continue to build the programme to help attract young talent to its growing hoisting business and offer graduates an exciting career in an industry vital for the green transformation.

ABB’s Process Automation business automates, electrifies and digitalizes industrial operations that address a wide range of essential needs – from supplying energy, water and materials, to producing goods and transporting them to market. With its ~20,000 employees, leading technology and service expertise, ABB Process Automation helps customers in process, hybrid and maritime industries improve performance and safety of operations, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future.

ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on more than 130 years of excellence, ABB’s ~105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation.

African gas, a purer, lower-carbon energy solution, AOW hears

CAPE TOWN, 11 October 2023 – Gas reserves off the East Coast of Africa have a far lower carbon content than the global average, making them an attractive opportunity for global investors and international export markets during the energy transition.

This was one of the insights shared at a panel discussion on the role of African gas at the AOW Investing in African Energy event being held in Cape Town this week.

“The beauty of gas derived from the East Coast of Africa is that it is extremely low on CO2 content,” said Unni Fijaer, Vice President and Tanzania country manager for Equinor, which is currently developing offshore natural gas resources in Tanzania.

“This East African gas has around one-third of the global average of carbon content, and is also extremely low in liquids,” said Fijaer. “It is a really pure gas, which makes it ideal for meeting the world’s energy needs while minimising its carbon emissions impacts.”

Fijaer was speaking at an AOW panel discussion on how Africa might monetise its gas resources by unlocking its enormous reserves to meet its domestic energy needs and also accessing export markets.

Several speakers at the conference have highlighted the role of gas as a transition fuel during the move towards a renewables-based energy future. Natural gas can meet Africa’s development needs and address the massive energy poverty on the continent, while also ensuring energy security and reliability with lower carbon emissions than oil.

As valuable as gas is for Africa, its potential as a transition fuel is yet to be truly realised.

A recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) says that more than 5 000 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas resources have been discovered in Africa which have not yet been developed. If brought into production, these resources could provide an additional 90bcm of gas a year by 2030, while keeping the continent’s share of global carbon emissions to a mere 3.5%.

‘We currently face two related global challenges,” said Fijaer. “We are facing the impacts of climate change, which we have all experienced. But at the same time, there is a significant gap when it comes to access to energy. Gas offers a solution.”

Fijaer said gas offered an opportunity for resource-driven African development. She drew a parallel with Norway, which was able to become a highly developed nation on the back of oil discoveries off the country’s coast in 1969.

“Norway was a pretty poor country, but when oil and gas were discovered, the government ensured that revenues were channelled into the country’s development,” said Fijaer. “African countries with gas reserves like Tanzania can embark on a similar development journey, as long as we ensure that energy projects are a win-win arrangement for both investors and the host nations.”

Another gas development off Africa’s East Coast recently began production, with operator Eni projecting it might ultimately contribute the equivalent of 2% of Mozambique’s national GDP this year. The resource, in the Rovuma Basin, is estimated to hold 2 400 billion cubic meters of gas.

“The Coral South Project in the Rovuma Basin is a landmark project for the industry and firmly places Mozambique onto the global LNG stage,” said Eni Rovuma Basin Technical Director Ivan Codognotto. “The project has come on stream within just five years. It is already generating benefits for the Mozambican economy, creating jobs, revenue, training and business growth.”

Fijaer said energy revenues could have a transformative effect on a country, stimulating the fiscus and allowing for further investments in education and healthcare for the country’s population.

Echoing this sentiment, Ombeni Sifue, chairman of the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation said the country had a right to develop its resources to support the upliftment of its people.

“Africa’s resources have enriched a lot of people, but not Africans,” he said. “Its time to use Africa’s resources for its own development, and to address energy poverty.”


Junior miners are the pioneers of the future in developing new resources

02 October 2023: Junior miners are playing an increasingly important role in producing the critical minerals needed for decarbonisation and the Just Energy Transition (JET), according to Dr. Eduard Vorster, Managing Director, Resources at leading consulting engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Zutari.

“These are really the pioneers that find new resources in, for instance, the critical raw mineral types in demand at present and that will be sought after in future,” says Dr. Vorster. These include Rare Earth Elements (REEs), a group of 17 elements. Neodymium, dysprosium, and praseodymium are particularly important for the production of powerful magnets used in wind turbines and electric vehicle motors.

While junior miners often have “exciting deposits”, they need deep skills in terms of business development. “We like to work at either end of the spectrum as the one represents the miners and assets of the future, while the other is established and serving our current needs.”

However, junior miners often face financial constraints. “They try to do things on a little bit of a shoestring,” says Dr. Vorster. “Where we as a company can assist them is to derive at a valuable proposition far quicker.” For example, this can include securing funding for the next stage, or utilising Zutari’s deep prior experience to arrive at cost-effective concepts much quicker.

“That is a slightly different outlook to someone building with their own money. We are able to perceive the wider value chain on behalf of junior miners, as we understand the licensing issues and the urgency for a ‘fit-for-purpose’ solution to kickstart a viable project.”

Dr. Vorster says that, apart from REEs, the JET is driving demand for minerals such as lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, copper, and silver. “What is interesting is that the notion of what minerals and elements are deemed important to serve our new energy outlook is changing.” This is as the world transitions to electric vehicles and adopts largescale battery energy storage systems.

However, Dr. Vorster says junior miners have a realistic view of the ‘hype’ accompanying the perceived demand for these increasingly important minerals and elements. “One needs to be very careful not to get swept away and think that it will be easy to make business cases. Despite the fact that lithium is such a valuable commodity at present, the market is not yet fully developed to its full potential. We still need sound business decision-making.”

Zutari can assist junior miners to achieve their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. “The whole discussion around ESG is interesting. We feel very passionate about ESG and the impact it allows us to have,” says Dr. Vorster. Junior miners often do not have ESG top of mind as they contend with rising input costs and electricity constraints. It means that, while critical, ESG compliance tends to be onerous for junior miners.

“What is clear is that the mining industry as a whole is acknowledging it has to go down the so-called ‘green’ route. Many feel it is a moral as well as a business imperative for a sustainable future,” says Dr. Vorster. He points out that Zutari can equip junior miners with critical skillsets they might not have in-house.

“It goes without saying that if you have the best people and apply the best skillsets available in the market, you will be successful. Successful mining companies in Africa understand that the way to get the best bang for your buck is to have the right people onboard from the outset. Do not invest simply because you feel you must. Make sure that you capitalise on change progress. These are valuable lessons for any business.”

Dr. Vorster represented Zutari at the Junior Mining Indaba held recently in Johannesburg. He was accompanied by Dr. Heinrich Jantzen, a seasoned Zutari mining consultant and former mining executive, and Daniel Chelopo, a qualified Project Management Professional (PMP), with over a decade’s experience in mineral processing and bulk materials handling projects.

Commenting on the successful outcome of the Junior Mining Indaba, Chelopo says it was gratifying to have CEOs from major mining companies using the opportunity to impart knowledge to Junior Miners. “It is testament to how the mining industry has embraced sustainability and the JET and what impact this is having on South Africa as a whole.”

Chelopo stressed that there has recently been an increasing emphasis on researching potential and problems associated with the transition to greener energy sources and decarbonisation activities. This huge initiative strives to address the critical problem of climate change and its negative environmental repercussions.

Exploring these potential difficulties is critical as countries worldwide attempt to minimise their dependence on fossil fuels and embrace sustainable alternatives. “The Junior Mining Ndaba gave us an excellent opportunity to find out about the voluntary carbon credit market, which enables businesses to offset their carbon footprint by investing in initiatives that decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Attending the event as a project manager allowed one to comprehend the complexities of the carbon credit market, discover potential for carbon offset projects in the mining industry, and hear about the latest market trends and regulations,” highlights Chelopo.

The event allowed project managers to obtain a thorough awareness of the legal and regulatory framework controlling geological exploration and mining activities. This information keeps them up to date current on developments, allows them to comprehend the ramifications of their own initiatives, and maintain compliance with the rules of the Geoscience Act. The Junior Mining Indaba also afforded attendees the opportunity to learn about the most recent breakthroughs in exploration methods, mining technology, and value chain optimisation.


Notes to the Editor
To download hi-res images for this news article, please visit and click the Zutari link to view the company’s press office.

About Zutari

As an engineering and advisory firm, we believe infrastructure has unparalleled potential to create enduring impact. Never more relevant, this potential can be realised only if we plan, design, deliver and manage infrastructure in ways that maximise its value. Our work in water, transport, energy, resources, and built-environment infrastructure does just this – helping to nurture thriving communities, growing economies, and healthy environments.

At Zutari we understand that radical impact doesn’t just happen; it requires more of us to connect differently, work smarter, and stay rooted.

We connect differently. Our broad collective of in-house experts connects across traditional disciplines to provide integrated results. We collaborate with clients, partners, and end-users, leaning into diverse perspectives to create superior solutions - together.

We work smarter. Our people lead the industry. We draw from deep technical skills, accrued over decades, and embrace the transformative power of digital technology to find simpler, better, and more innovative ways to deliver value.

We stay rooted. Few can rival our local capacity and understanding. Building on solid foundations, now 90 years in the making, we are trusted to shape locally relevant solutions through our extensive footprint in Africa and the Middle East.

At Zutari our people connect differently, work smarter, and stay rooted. Working in this way, we reliably deliver impact through infrastructure, making the world a better place – one project at a time.

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Gold Fields deploying ABB digital technologies to improve mining operations in Western Australia

PERTH, AUSTRALIA, September 19, 2023

Gold Fields deploying ABB digital technologies to improve mining operations in Western Australia

  • ABB Ability™ Operations Management System (OMS) for Mining commissioned at the Granny Smith underground gold mine
  • Gold Fields will use the system for mine planning and operations, including design, maintenance, people, equipment and services
  • Digitally connected solutions will support production efficiencies at the mine that produces 1.6 million metric tons of ore per year

Global mining company Gold Fields has begun using a comprehensive digital platform from ABB to coordinate production scheduling and execution across its Granny Smith Mine in Western Australia.

The mining leader has deployed the ABB Ability™ Operations Management System (OMS) at the mine 740km northeast of Perth. The OMS is a contributing factor to Gold Field’s digital transformation of the Granny Smith operation, aiming to improve productivity and streamline data flow to enable timely decision making. Around 1.6million metric tons of gold-bearing ore is extracted from the underground mine and treated at the site’s processing plant each year.

ABB’s OMS integrates short-interval control and closed-loop scheduling into the same digital platform, connecting mine planning and operations – including design, maintenance, workforce, equipment, and services – in real time. It enables operators to plan production scheduling, automate activities and quickly react to disturbances that may impede production. The project delivery has been achieved with the active support of mining consultancy Enterprise Transformation Partners (ETP) in Australia.

Granny Smith’s workforce, plus all fixed and mobile equipment, will be connected to achieve new levels of production scheduling efficiency, from bench preparation to crusher, optimizing resource usage and implementing the production plan more effectively. ‘What-if’ scenario analysis and re-planning will help teams to take informed decisions, maximizing efficiency and financial opportunity for the operation.

“Gold Fields has enjoyed a solid, collaborative relationship with ABB globally, and now we are working hard to deliver a modern digitalized mine at Granny Smith, one that is more productive and sustainable,” said Rob Derries, Unit Manager, Innovation and Technology, Gold Fields Australia. “As a mine operator, we face a broad range of planning and operational challenges in hard-to-predict environments. We are committed to building on our people’s capability and experience by working with technology innovators to bring in the tools and systems to better manage this balance. It also allows our people to move into more highly skilled roles and tasks.”

“By providing ABB’s OMS solution, we will support the Gold Fields team with significant improvements to planning and productivity, moving the responsibility and reliance from individuals onto an efficient digitalized system for faster decision-making and higher productivity,” said Alan Teixeira, Product Business Line Manager – Mining & Digital Solutions – Australia, ABB.

ABB also partners with the University of Western Australia’s Energy & Resources Digital Interoperability Industry 4.0 TestLab, run by ETP, to advance Industry 4.0 open process automation standards.

ABB’s Process Automation business automates, electrifies, and digitalizes industrial operations that address a wide range of essential needs – from supplying energy, water and materials, to producing goods and transporting them to market. With its ~20,000 employees, leading technology and service expertise, ABB Process Automation helps customers in process, hybrid and maritime industries improve performance and safety of operations, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future.

ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on more than 130 years of excellence, ABB’s ~105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation.

For more information please contact:

Media Relations                                                                                                     Issued by NGAGE Marketing on behalf of ABB

Ofentse Dijoe                                                                                                          Andile Mbethe

Phone: +27 (0) 010 202 5105                                                                                 +27 (0)11 867 7763

Email :                                                         Email :            

The transformative power of AI takes centre stage at 2023 Converge Summit

The transformative power of AI takes centre stage at 2023 Converge Summit

Business leaders, C-suite executives, and senior managers across industries will converge at The Forum in Bryanston, Sandton, on 27 September 2023 as 4Sight Holdings presents the 2023 Converge AI Summit.

The conference takes place against a backdrop of rapid advancement and innovation driven by artificial intelligence (AI) in corporate and industrial business environments.

“In the last six months, the world has changed considerably due to the impact that automation in data processing and generative AI is having on society at large and businesses in particular,” says Tertius Zitzke, CEO at 4Sight Holdings.

“The reality is that AI is here, and the time to adopt this technology is now. If business leaders hesitate to make the decision to invest and start their journey to AI-enabled operations today, they risk losing ground to their competitors.”

The event, themed 'Future Forward 4Sight', will host a prominent panel of speakers who will share significant insights with the 300 delegates in attendance, empowering them to accelerate their digital AI transformation journeys and future-proof their businesses.

“The one-day, in-person conference will include two keynote speakers, including futurist and writer Mitch Ilbury, who will open the event, and a motivational talk from global speaker and author Richard Wright after the lunch break,” explains Willie Ackerman, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at 4Sight Holdings.

Attendees will also hear keynote addresses from the technology vendor event sponsors, covering topics such as AI in business and building your AI transformation journey.

The breakaway sessions that follow will span three streams – operational technology, information technology, and business environment. These streams will cover customer use case presentations and 33 technology presentations, which will all include a link to AI in different vertical sector and market contexts.

“Attendees will experience real-world examples showcasing how companies successfully integrate AI and other advanced digital technologies into their operations to advance their digital capabilities and improve their operations,” continues Zitzke.

Experts from 4Sight Holdings and the event's strategic partners will cover topics related to digitalising business across all major vertical markets and industries to unlock the power of visibility, enhance efficiencies, minimise risk, and maximise profitability.

“Speakers will also take a future-forward look at AI's role in businesses, with presentations that cover the application of AI in the industrial metaverse, workplace modernisation in preparation for AI, and the future of an ESG-integrated business with AI at its heart, among others,” Ackerman adds.

“Multiple streams will demonstrate how 4Sight combines market leading technologies with our unique approach and the domain expertise held by our People to help businesses make the quantum leap to Enterprise 5.0 organisations of the future, no matter the industry in which they operate,” concludes Zitzke.

Tata Steel and ABB will jointly explore tech-nologies to help reduce carbon footprint of steel production


Tata Steel and ABB will jointly explore technologies to help reduce carbon footprint of steel production

  • The project will target improvements in energy efficiency, decarbonization and circularity in plants and production facilities
  • Tata Steel is pursuing carbon neutrality by 2045 as one of its major sustainability goals

Tata Steel Ltd and global technology leader ABB have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and will work together to co-create innovative models and technologies to help reduce the carbon footprint of steel production. ABB will bring global experience in automation, electrification and digitalization for the mining and metals industries.

Tata Steel is among the top global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 35 million tons per annum and is committed to major sustainabililty targets including achievement of carbon neutrality by 2045. In line with its aspirations, the steelmaker has a medium-term target to reduce carbon emissions to less than two tons of CO₂ per ton of crude steel in its Indian operations by 2025.

The two companies will focus on system-level assessments of Tata Steel’s manufacturing plants and production facilities for evaluation and co-development of short and long-term options for energy efficiency, decarbonization and circularity.

“Steel companies know there are opportunities to improve their processes, and Tata Steel is one of the leaders in this movement towards energy efficiency and reduction of carbon footprint,” said Vipul Gautam, Group Vice President, Global Account Executive for Tata Group, ABB. “World Economic Forum figures anticipate the energy transition will require as much as three billion tons of metals over the medium term; six times more mineral inputs by 2040 to reach net-zero emissions globally by 2050. ABB is confident in working with our customers and partners to evolve how steelmaking is powered to help reach production and environmental targets.”

Tata Steel is committed to sustainable development and growth as an integral part of its business philosophy. To ensure sustainable growth, the company is working on deployment of key enablers for deep decarbonization, including the use of more scrap in steelmaking, use of alternate fuels such as natural gas and green hydrogen, use of renewable energy and deployment of carbon capture and storage/utilization technologies. Tata Steel expects to increase capacity to 40 million tons by 2030 hence this collaboration with technology partner ABB is a key enabler to achieve that growth in a sustainable manner.

ABB and Tata Steel will explore energy optimization via hydrogen as an alternative fuel for upstream processes and energy reduction as well as substitution through fully integrated electrification and digital systems such as ABB Ability™ eMine and e-Mobility solutions and energy efficient motors.

The global steel industry contributes between 7 to 9 percent of global fossil fuel CO₂ emissions, according to various sources including the International Energy Agency (IEA).

ABB’s Process Automation business automates, electrifies and digitalizes industrial operations that address a wide range of essential needs – from supplying energy, water and materials, to producing goods and transporting them to market. With its ~20,000 employees, leading technology and service expertise, ABB Process Automation helps customers in process, hybrid and maritime industries improve performance and safety of operations, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future.

ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on more than 130 years of excellence, ABB’s ~105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation.

For more information please contact:

Media Relations                                                                                                  Issued by NGAGE Marketing on behalf of ABB

Ofentse Dijoe                                                                                                       Andile Mbethe

Phone: +27 (0) 010 202 5105                                                                               +27 (0)11 867 7763

Email :                                                                     Email :       

ABB’s five value pillars for a stronger digitalisation platform in mining

ABB’s five value pillars for a stronger digitalisation platform in mining

  • ABB has developed a digitalisation roadmap that rests on five areas or value pillars
  • ABB aims to leverage these pillars alongside its strengths as a provider of physical and digital solutions
  • The five solution areas are sustainability, asset performance, process performance, operational excellence, and a connected workforce

Given the mountains of data generated by modern mining solutions, it is more important than ever to ensure digital transformation programmes have clarity, pace, and control. To help companies navigate the complex landscape and pursue programmes that deliver on value, ABB has developed a digitalisation roadmap that rests on five areas or value pillars.

ABB aims to leverage these pillars alongside its strengths as a provider of physical and digital solutions. The company works closely with everything from mining robots and trolley-assist systems to AI and augmented reality. ABB’s vision is that automation, digitalisation, and electrification must go hand in hand for real digital transformation and deliver on the values of sustainable and efficient mining operations.

The five solution areas – sustainability, asset performance , process performance, operational excellence, and a connected workforce – can be used to provide demonstratable evidence that digital transformation strategies are working. There is also a horizontal layer, cyber security, that is critical across the five pillars.

While the five areas are based on both long-held customer needs and the company’s solutions and domain expertise, they also reflect massive changes in mining in recent years. Another important concept of digitalisation is to promote greater collaboration among different areas of the value chain. The value pillars must all be connected to maximise plant benefits.

As an example, predictive maintenance has a solid connection to the sustainability pillar and production. A reliability engineer, who needs to work closely with the production manager, may sometimes face a decision that involves running a piece of equipment close to a failure curve, even though that could result in higher energy consumption. In the end, for a holistic optimisation of the value chain, digital needs to serve as a basis for collaborative working, instead of the traditional siloed way of operating.

Integration is a critical part of progress in digitalisation. “With data, it is essential to remember that if we cannot measure, we cannot control. Advanced algorithms cannot make the right predictions if the basics are not right. For a complex and important project such as cost reduction, we can dig into millions of data points, but it still needs to be correctly processed, ingested and managed to extract the right value from operations,” says Erik Pretorius, Global Lead, Large and Strategic Projects, Mining and Minerals Processing, ABB.

“Most of the time spent in data-driven projects is still around preparing the data correctly. That is a big hurdle, and mining is no different. Correct usage of the technology associated with the right domain expertise is crucial to enable data integration and the five value pillars,” concludes Pretorius.


Duferco, Vedanta fund long-term project into novel zinc refining process

29 August 2023: Duferco Steel Processing and Vedanta South Africa are continuing to fund a long-term research project at the University of Cape Town (UCT) supervised by Professor Jochen Petersen and his chemical engineering team. “Congratulations to the companies for their great foresight to provide the funding to get the novel green low-power mini zinc refining project into action,” says explains Simon Norton, Executive Director of the International Zinc Association (IZA) Africa.

“The main idea is to fire up novel chemical engineering research in South Africa and use local postgraduate students to challenge them with the zinc project,” says Norton. “The project clearly shows that South Africa must spend far more on fundamental research and lure internationally recognised researchers to lead programmes here.”

The project is looking to use ammonia as a leaching agent to remove non-ferrous metals contained in South African zinc rich mineral ores. Ammonia is being used in the research because it is low cost, has low toxicity, and can be regenerated in the process operation.

“The other key reason for using ammonia is the fact that, in an alkaline solution, the process does not dissolve iron, a critical impurity that complicates zinc recovery from ore concentrates,” explains Professor Petersen. What is also unique is the aim to use very low electrical power and keep the process small-scale so that it can be run in South Africa to meet local refined zinc tonnage requirements.

The proposed new zinc ore processing method has not yet been proven and is still in bench-scale testing, cautions Professor Petersen. “We cannot yet definitively say whether this process is more effective than others in use at present. However, what we can say is that the ammonia process has all the possibilities for a low cost, low power, green, and process-friendly option.” The UCT team is busy working on examining the various parameters.

The main challenge to process zinc is the nature of the ore deposit – that is, is it zinc oxide based or a zinc sulphide-based ore body and what are the impurities in the ore that can hinder processing. The nature of the deposit determines the process that must be used to either concentrate the ore or refine the ore material.

The latest research aims to develop a low-cost process with a very high pure zinc recovery rate. While commercially proven and tested zinc ore processing techniques have been traditionally selected for any new plant, “the sea change in the world from an ecological perspective, carbon footprint, and power demand now dictate that a new approach be taken to zinc ore processing,” highlights Norton.

In the case of South Africa, this is now even more critical due to the unreliable power supply situation. The challenges facing zinc ore processing are water usage, power supply, and physical location of the ore body. The latter is important for the refined zinc ingots to be delivered cost-effectively to market.

However, environmental and economic pressures are driving zinc ore processing in South Africa. In fact, in Europe the Russian-Ukraine war has cut off reliable gas supply and ecological pressures have forced zinc refinery closures. “A new and better way has to be found,” stresses Norton.

Commenting on progress to date, Professor Petersen says that once the basics have been worked out, the final process can be rolled out into an investor-funded pilot plant. “The key is to test all the hypotheses and options and see if the whole idea is chemically and process viable. Once the various options have been decided upon, a pilot plant can be developed. Once the pilot plant has been successfully operated and the bench-scale process proven, funding and venture capital partners will be needed to make the whole project commercially viable.”

Zinc is one of the most critical refined non-ferrous metals in the world. It is the fourth most used base metal in the world, from fertiliser to medicinal creams, suntan lotions and die cast metal parts made of zinc or brass. Around 13 million tonnes of refined zinc are used worldwide, and 58 % of that is used for galvanizing.

Refined zinc is largely used to galvanize steel so as to provide a corrosion protective coating to the steel, be it in concrete, structural steel or steel roof sheeting. Continuous galvanizing plants throughout the world use massive tonnages of refined zinc to apply a thin corrosion protective coating to steel sheet.


African Chrome Fields unveils world-first mining technology

African Chrome Fields unveils world-first mining technology

15 August 2023: African Chrome Fields has unveiled its R800 million mineral beneficiation plant in Zimbabwe for the first time, which utilises a world-first aluminothermic process that has placed the company and the country at the forefront of mining technology. African Chrome Fields has an investment of US$ 250 million at present in Zimbabwe.

Headquartered in South Africa, African Chrome Fields is a private black-owned mining company with mining operations spanning along the Great Dyke region in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe. Launched in 2014, the new smelting plant represents the company’s first venture into mineral beneficiation in keeping with Zimbabwe’s growing emphasis on local mineral processing.

The technology is the culmination of several years of research and testing, and was specifically developed in response to a lack of available power and infrastructure in the area, states Zunaid Moti, Chairman and Country Representative of African Chrome Fields.

“The Zimbabwean government has placed increasing focus over the years on beneficiating its natural resources and minerals as opposed to exporting raw material, with the aim of promoting inclusive, sustainable economic growth. In line with this thinking, we took the decision to build a plant to beneficiate our chrome within the country.

“So, over the past few years, we have invested more than R1.2 billion to develop completely new technology that is not dependent on electricity.”

Unlike traditional power-hungry and carbon-intensive furnaces, the aluminothermic plant draws on a proprietary chemical mix to produce the heat needed to convert raw chrome ore into ferrochrome, a specialised ferroalloy used in stainless steel manufacturing. This proprietary mix ensures that the ferrochrome produced is ultra-low carbon, high-grade ferrochrome featuring between 62% and 65% chromium and just 0.2% carbon – a quality that is unmatched by most international counterparts.

“To explain the process, we take atomized aluminium and chrome concentrate, mix it with other accelerants and light it. The mix then self-ignites and the aluminothermic process takes over, producing a very hot chemical reaction that is completed within a few minutes rather than the hours needed to produce the same reaction in furnaces,” he says.

“The slag then separates from the ferrochrome, and once the mix has cooled, we can remove the ferrochrome, which remains of exceptionally high quality without harmful contaminants.”

As a result, its ferrochrome is suitable for specialised high-grade stainless steel manufacturing for end-clients in the aeronautics and construction industries, amongst others.

In addition to its aluminothermic technology, the company’s boasts extensive alluvial mining operations in the area, only drawing on the upper layers of soil between one and three metres deep to extract chrome. It currently has seven wash plants, the latest of which is a double plant that has increased its chrome production to 550 tons of chrome per day, or 20,000 tons per month. These wash plants rely on a simple combination of water and gravity to separate sand from the chrome ore. Once production at plant six commences, production will increase to 30 000 tons per month. Plant six is scheduled to commence operations in the next 90 days.

The company has invested some $250 million into expanding its mining operations since 2014, including the construction of necessary infrastructure such as boreholes, roads, and accommodation for staff, as well as the construction of seven wash plants. Likewise, its staff component has grown from less than 40 individuals to over currently over 600 employees, contributing significantly to job creation and economic development in the region.

The life of the mine is expected to endure for at least 20 years, if not 30 or 40 years given the richness of the chrome reserves in the area. This will provide long-term job security for local employees and hope for further sustainable socio-economic development and stimulus for decades to come, notes Moti.

“This cutting-edge technology has positioned Zimbabwe and African Chrome Fields as frontrunners in mining and mineral beneficiation, and signals our commitment to innovation and sustainable practices,” he says.

“The investment made by African Chrome Fields has not only brought technological advancement but has also contributed significantly to employment opportunities, skills development, and infrastructure enhancement in Zimbabwe. Through the power of public-private partnerships, we have witnessed the transformation of natural resources into sources of sustainable prosperity.

“As we continue our progress, Zimbabwe as a country is likewise forging forward. We strongly believe that the future for African Chrome Fields and for Zimbabwe is bright, and we hope to continue fostering a deeper understanding of our efforts as we work to reimagine the future of Zimbabwe and of mining,” he concludes.


On behalf of Zunaid Moti / ACF

Distributed by Shannon Henning / PR Worx

Draft Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Return-to-Work Regulations

By Kate Collier, Partner, Kenneth Coster, Partner & Mbali Nkosi, Senior Associate from Webber Wentzel

On 15 June 2023, the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) published the Draft Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Return to Work Regulations in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) for public comment. These draft regulations propose new and significant obligations for employers to fulfil.

The draft regulations flow from recent amendments effected to COIDA which introduce, among other changes, the concept of rehabilitation and reintegration as essential parts of return-to-work processes for employees who have suffered work-related injuries or occupational diseases. A summary of those changes signed into law by the President but awaiting a commencement date can be found here.

The amendments to COIDA include the need to incorporate clinical, vocational, and social rehabilitation measures to facilitate employees' physical, psychological, and social recovery. These changes seek to ensure that individuals can regain their independence, re-enter the workforce and actively participate in all aspects of life. With this laudable goal comes immense practical and financial considerations and challenges, primary among these, is the question of whether employers are required to reserve employees' work for the duration of the rehabilitation period.

The draft regulations will require the adoption of new systems, policies, and measures by all employers regarding employees who have suffered occupational diseases or sustained injuries in the workplace. These include considerations of existing dismissal procedures and incapacity-related policies already implemented by employers as well as proposed measures to ensure the reintegration of employees into the workplace as far as reasonably possible. In considering the draft regulations, the following key aspects and features will, in our view, affect all employers:

Draft Rehabilitation 24072023

Draft regulations

The draft regulations provide for increased participation of the Compensation Fund (CF) or Licensee in respect of enforcing the proposed provisions in the employers' workplace as well as collaboration and involvement of various stakeholders including the requisite inspectorate, unions, and healthcare facilities. An interesting feature in the draft regulations is the proposed additional obligations of healthcare and occupational medical practitioners who play an integral role in assisting the employer to implement already existing occupational health and medical programmes in the workplace.

The proposed penalties for non-compliance with the draft regulations have not been set and simply prescribe that the fine or penalty will be determined by the Compensation Commissioner.

Employee health and wellness representative

Employers may appoint an employee health and wellness representative for their "business establishment". The person appointed in the role must report all work-related injuries and occupational diseases to the CF or Licensee and must receive reports of injuries or diseases from employees. Although the wording in the regulations in some instances infers that the appointment is discretionary, other instances imply that these persons must be identified by the employer and discharge prescribed functions.

It is proposed that the appointee will act as a liaison officer between the CF or Licensee, the affected employee, and the rehabilitation service providers. The appointee must have the necessary skill, knowledge, and competence to perform their duties and it is proposed that the appointee must educate the employees and the rehabilitation service providers on their legal rights and obligations. The appointee also has a number of rights, primarily relating to access to information and plays a role in ensuring cost-effective programmes.

Obligations on employers

The draft regulations will require employers to provide access to facilities, services and benefits aimed at rehabilitating employees to enable their return-to-work or to the labour market more generally. This includes the implementation of a reintegration and return-to-work policy which must be freely accessible and communicated to all employees.

The draft regulations incorporate various obligations regarding employers' general duties to provide and maintain, as far as reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health and safety of their employees and associated general duties are incorporated into the draft regulations. Also imposed on employers will be various specific duties:

  • to develop and implement a rehabilitation and return-to-work policy and programme that outlines the procedures to be taken to ensure that employees return to work, provision of reasonable accommodation and assistive devices and technology[1], a plan for employee health and wellness to encourage early return to work; the re-skilling of employees for alternative work; the consequences for non-compliance with the policy and procedures and consistent support and intervention by employers, employees, healthcare providers and insurers;
  • to facilitate required access and assistance to enable a CF case manager to perform their functions;
  • to establish and maintain a system of rehabilitation and return to work reporting for all employees exposed to occupational injuries and diseases;
  • to submit the reporting data to the CF in the prescribed manner and on an annual basis;
  • to provide reasonable, transitional, or temporary work to allow the injured employee to work safely in the return-to-work process;
  • to modify work areas, duties, equipment, or processes in accordance with the injured employee's capacity to allow for reasonable accommodation and assistive devices and technology;
  • to consult with relevant stakeholders to resolve difficulties at the workplace that impact the outcomes of the rehabilitation and return to work programme;
  • to ensure that the employee undergoing rehabilitation can return to their original work where reasonably practicable and to reserve the employee's original work or a suitable alternative position for this purpose until such time as evidence of incapacity has been provided;
  • to notify the compensation commissioner when an employee resumes work. Similarly, if an employer is unable to retain an employee "after all efforts have been made to preserve the employment" of that employee, notice to the commissioner is also required; and
  • not to dismiss an employee based on incapacity or reduce their rate of remuneration or alter employment conditions to a less favourable one as a result of being injured on duty or contracting an occupational disease without reporting such to the chief inspectorate and the CF in writing stating the reasons for dismissal. This obligation is expressly subject to the provisions of the Labour Relations Act. The term "chief inspectorate" is not defined; however, we assume the chief inspectorate of mines or of occupational health and safety, whichever is applicable.

Other obligations proposed relate to guiding and assisting injured or diseased employees with their general, day-to-day reintegration into the workplace.

The draft regulations also envisage that the employer must identify and designate employee health and wellness representatives who will act as liaison officers between the CF or Licensee, the injured or diseased employee and the medical rehabilitation service providers.

Obligations on employees

Section 42(1A) of COIDA places the duty on employees to submit to a medical examination for the purposes of rehabilitation. The draft regulations propose further obligations on employees to assist both the employer and CF in the execution of their obligations. Employees will be required to report an injury or disease as soon as practicable after the injury or diagnosis to their immediate supervisor and/or health and safety representative as well as provide any relevant medical reports relating to rehabilitation and periods of absence from work and comply with any medical restrictions imposed at all times.

The draft regulations also state that employees will be obliged to avail themselves for, and actively participate, in the implementation of the rehabilitation and return to work plan as well as return to their pre-injury workplace where medically reasonable and safe and accept an offer of reasonable accommodation.

Obligations on other relevant stakeholders

The draft regulations propose extensive involvement and participation from the CF or Licensee.

Over and above the general obligation to provide access to facilities, services, and benefits together with the employer, the CF or Licensee's proposed role is to facilitate the overall implementation of the draft regulations. In doing so, the draft regulations propose that the CF and Licensee may, amongst others:

  • found, establish, subsidise, or assist a body, organisation or scheme that deals with facilities designed to provide rehabilitation and assistance to employees;
  • ensure that employers and employees are made aware of their obligations within the occupational setting and the CF or Licensees' rehabilitation and return-to-work processes;
  • ensure that the appropriate financial resources are available to support rehabilitation and return-to-work programmes;
  • provide appropriate support to stakeholder organisations to ensure that they comply with the draft regulations;
  • institute steps to increase stakeholder awareness and recognition of their own efforts in rehabilitation and return-to-work programme; and
  • monitor, evaluate and review the implementation of rehabilitation and return-to-work policy.

It is proposed that the CF or Licensee must appoint or designate a Disability Manager[2] who will be responsible for assessing, approving, and authorising all individual rehabilitation plans.

COIDA provides for assessment rebates to incentivise employers to participate in rehabilitation programmes. Employers will face the task of balancing rehabilitation processes with operational needs and ensuring workers are fit to perform their duties. Striking the right balance between rehabilitation and operational requirements will require careful consideration and proactive measures from employers. There exists also, in our view, a possible legal challenge to the proposed regulations regarding the expansion of the CF's powers, which may interfere with the primacy of the application of the Labour Relations Act to employment relationships. The public has been invited to provide substantiated comments on the draft regulations in writing by 15 July 2023. Webber Wentzel's occupational health and safety team is assisting clients wishing to prepare and submit such comments.

[1]    The term "Assistive Devices and Technology" is defined as any item, piece of equipment, software programme or product system used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities. This can include mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware, software and peripherals that assist with disabilities. Assistive devices should include specialised Assistive Devices and Technology

[2]    The term "Disability Manager" is defined as a suitably trained individual who performs various functions pertaining to return-to-work and rehabilitation systems such as design coordination and implementation to return-to-work programmes

Counterfeit Electrical Products Pose Grave Threat to South Africans' Lives and Homes

Education is Crucial to Keep Consumers Safe

Smoke, fire, and flames claim numerous lives in South Africa, ranking among the top causes of death. In addition, the Fire Protection Association of Southern Africa has reported that almost one-tenth of all fires stem from electrical sources. “However, many South Africans are unaware that counterfeit electrical products play a major role in fuelling these incidents. To safeguard local households, it is crucial to raise awareness and illuminate the extent of this problem,” says Dr Andrew Dickson, Engineering Executive at CBI-electric: low voltage.

Speaking in light of World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, he points out that commonly counterfeited items include terminal connector blocks, timing switches, circuit breakers and earth leakage devices, as well as multi-plugs and adapters. “These products can cause burns, electrical shocks and even fires.”

Dr Dickson explains that the use of substandard materials to make counterfeit products cheaper is largely to blame and unfortunately, with the current economic climate, the counterfeit market is rife. “For example, instead of using plastic materials that are non-flammable or self-extinguishing to produce electrical products and components, counterfeiters use cheap alternatives that burn more easily and can produce toxic smoke which makes the electrical installation unsafe and ultimately puts the consumer at risk of injury or death.”

“Not only are these criminals putting people’s lives at risk, but they are also taking away economic activity from legitimate businesses,” he notes. “In fact, a report published by the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade has shown that illicit trade is one of the biggest threats to stability and economic growth in South Africa, with the country losing R250 million a day.”

To help raise awareness among consumers, Dr Dickson shares his top tips for ensuring the authenticity of the products they purchase:

  • Manufacturers and importers must have a Letter of Authority (LOA): No electrical goods can be sold legally in South Africa without a LOA from the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS). This ensures that they comply with internationally accepted standards for public health and safety as well as environmental protection. Regulated products must be approved before they enter the South African market and are subject to post-market inspections at manufacturers’ premises, the country’s ports of entry, and retailers. Any non-compliant products found could potentially be recalled, confiscated or destroyed.
  • Buy recognised brands from recognised establishments: According to the latest Survey on Electrical Counterfeiting in Africa, the majority of the continent’s consumers purchase these products from street vendors. While this may be a more affordable avenue, it gives them little recourse should the product be faulty. Rather shop for products from well-known brands and from reputable wholesalers and retailers.
  • Use compliant and trustworthy contractors: Unscrupulous electricians are another common source of counterfeit electrical goods. However, in South Africa all low voltage electrical installations (which include circuit breakers, cables and earth leakage devices, amongst others) must – by law - comply with the requirements of SANS 10142 which is the standard for the wiring of premises. A Certificate of Compliance (COC) verifies that an electrical installation is compliant, but if it is discovered that this was issued fraudulently, it may invalidate the consumer’s insurance cover. So, for example, in the event of an electrical fire, the insurer can refuse to pay any claims.
  • If the price is too good to be true, it probably is: As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. The problem with counterfeit goods is that shortcuts are taken so their quality is compromised. With electrical items like circuit breakers, for instance, most people don't understand the value and the protection these provide until they are in a situation where they need the products to operate. If a circuit breaker fails to operate, it places the electrical installation, and potentially appliances, at risk for damage, and in severe cases may result in a fire.

 Should consumers discover that they have been the victim of counterfeiters, Dr Dickson advises that they approach consumer protection groups or organisations, which protects South African businesses and people from preventable harm caused by unsafe electrical products and services. “Alternatively, they could contact the NRCS’ Electrotechnical business unit, the mandate of which is to protect the safety and health of consumers and the environment.”

“While counterfeit products might be less expensive than the genuine article, is it really worth the risk? By being empowered with knowledge about these dangers, South Africans can make informed choices and protect themselves and their loved ones,” he concludes.

Critical Minerals Africa Forum Welcomes Launch Partners, Promotes Africa's Vital Role in Global Growth

3 July 2023, Cape Town – Energy Capital & Power announces that the Critical Minerals Africa investment summit will take place on 17-18 October in Cape Town, South Africa. This inaugural summit kicks off a series of results-driven African events with the goal of strengthening global supply chains for critical minerals; increasing value addition in critical minerals production within Africa; and fueling global economic growth through sustainably produced African resources.

Organizer Energy Capital & Power is proud to work with industry leading partners and welcomes private and public sector partners to join this important initiative. The African Energy Chamber is the official Strategic Partner and has endorsed Critical Minerals Africa. Leading data and analysis firm Rystad Energy is Knowledge Partner. We are pleased to welcome Moore Global as Advisory Partner. South African Airways is the first Airline Partner to join the conference.

Discussions are ongoing with member countries of the Minerals Strategic Partnership and other major consumers, African and Middle Eastern ministers, private sector mining houses, private equity and financial institutions, and the International Energy Agency to send delegations and speakers to the summit.

The event will drive dealmaking and connect funding with projects, including closed-door sessions and meetings, and public deal-signing and policy announcement sessions.

Critical Minerals Africa takes place concurrently with African Energy Week (Cape Town, 16-20 October 2023), hosted by the African Energy Chamber. This collaboration enables delegates to gain exposure to a far wider network, to take part in discussions across a broader spectrum of mining and energy issues, and to gain access to a larger number of high-profile national delegations in the resources sector. With critical minerals a key driver of the success of the energy transition, the co-location of Critical Minerals Africa and African Energy Week in Cape Town in October provides a unique and powerful value to stakeholders.

Conference director James Chester said: “Critical Minerals Africa stands at the intersection of energy and mining, and at the forefront of Africa’s emergence as a catalyst for global growth. This is the dealmaking and policy announcement space where projects find investors, investors create opportunities, and governments map out the future of their mining industries. The Energy Capital & Power team is excited to welcome international, African and South African delegates to this strategic event in Cape Town.”

Critical Minerals Africa takes place on 17-18 October at the CTICC in Cape Town, South Africa.

Tickets are now available at


By: Johann de Bruin, CEO of Erudite

South Africa has a chronic shortage of engineering skills, with just one engineer for every 3,100 people compared to developed economies such as the United Kingdom and United States of America, which boast one engineer for every 310 people.

The country faces two critical issues. First, there is substantial demand for a disproportionately low supply of young engineers. Second, newly qualified and talented young engineers often gravitate to higher-paying positions in the public sector and state-owned entities (SOEs) where they often fail to receive the opportunity to gain practical industry experience.

When Erudite was founded, one of our guiding principles was therefore to address the lack of mentorship opportunities in the public sector, as well as the inadequate emphasis on transformation among local engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) companies.

The Erudite approach entails the recruitment of qualified young engineers, often sourced from different sectors, and equipping them with relevant experience and mining project development expertise beyond what they might receive elsewhere. Should they later choose to make the shift, they can carry their newfound engineering expertise to SOEs where they can make a real difference in the public sector.

As for young engineers still finding their place in the industry and building successful careers, there are two pieces of advice to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t allow status and financial reward to drive your career decisions

The lure of a high starting salary within the public sector often proves too strong for young, qualified professionals to ignore. Unfortunately, SOEs tend to pay engineers very well and, as a result, employ top talent en masse, leading to an internal brain drain of sorts for the country’s private sector.

The issue is that SOEs rarely challenge or provide proper mentoring to these novice engineers, as used to be the case in previous generations. Young engineers generally stay with a state-owned entity for a decade or more, enjoying the prestige and wages that come with a senior position. But when they attempt to venture into the private sector to find gainful employment, their level of experience is often considerably lower than the industry standard, preventing them from achieving further growth.

Private sector EPCMs such as Erudite employ the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) mentorship and training approach, which places young engineers under the guidance of an experienced senior engineer registered as a mentor with ECSA.

At Erudite, we onboard younger talent and throw them in the deep end from day one, but we provide them with the necessary support. We have found that engineers do not develop if they are not held accountable. They are given many engineering responsibilities from the start, which helps them grow and quickly learn to stand on their own two feet, but we provide them with the right training through involved, experienced, mentors.

While there may be a steep learning curve, we very quickly see them transition into well-rounded, effective members of any EPCM team.

  1. Avoid regular job hopping

One career strategy often employed by younger generations is to change careers often, incrementally increasing their salaries with every move. This is particularly effective in careers that are high in demand such as engineering.

Although this may be a good strategy from a purely financial point of view, it can be detrimental to a young engineer’s personal development. In engineering, expertise often comes from a focused approach to learning, otherwise known as specialisation. Frequent career changes may prevent young engineers from fully immersing themselves in a particular field and grasping the intricacies of their chosen discipline, leading to a superficial understanding of their work.

They will not have the opportunity to see projects through from start to finish. This lack of continuity can hinder their ability to develop situational problem-solving skills specific to every phase of a project, or from developing a sense of ownership of their work.

Finally, job hoppers miss out on invaluable networking and mentoring opportunities. Moving between companies every one or two years disrupts the process of establishing meaningful connections, and finding mentors who are willing to provide ongoing guidance and support throughout each stage of their professional development.

Engineering will always be an in-demand vocation aimed at solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges, which makes it an ideal career option for young people concerned about their future. But, upon entering the job market, young engineers should take care before deciding which company to entrust with their development and future careers.

In the end, it’s important to make sure that you buy into the culture and ethos of your employer rather than focussing on the potential size of your pay packet. Erudite is very encouraged by the calibre of the league of young engineers that we have been able to attract to our family. They, and their ilk, truly are the future – not only of Erudite, but also the engineering industry throughout this continent.

Water, waste crises in the spotlight at IFAT Africa 2023

Looming water and waste management crises will top the agenda at IFAT Africa 2023, the leading event for the water, sewage, refuse and recycling industry in southern Africa next month.

IFAT Africa 2023 returns to Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand from 5 – 7 July, after a four-year hiatus due to Covid-19 lockdowns. The event features an extensive exhibition area, co-located with analytica Lab Africa, as well as a high-level conference, workshops and demos.

Organisers Messe Muenchen India and Messe München GmbH, this week unveiled the IFAT Africa 2023 conference programme.

Southern Africa’s water challenges will come under discussion in sessions on avoiding a crisis in water infrastructure in South Africa; corrosion and water wastage; water challenges and opportunities in the midst of unreliable power supply; innovative methods for ensuring safe drinking water for all in Africa; associations as drivers for water sector development; and decentralised capacity building for Africa.

Delegates will also hear AfWASA’s Call to Action on accelerating water and sanitation for all in Africa and the South African Youth Water Action Plan; and innovative, resource- and energy-efficient industrial water and wastewater treatment concepts. A session on sustainable water reclamation with integrated resource recovery in the context of the Water Energy Food Nexus Hub will address nature-based approaches to improve shared environmental and water resources.

Public Private Partnerships for water and sanitation infrastructure in Southern Africa; and Challenges and solutions to clinical, healthcare and research laboratory waste management will come under discussion in topical panel discussions. Also under discussion will be opportunities in the circular economy, as well as extended producers responsibility as an enabler of a circular economy will come under discussion  

Also on the agenda will be topics such as EU-AU co-operation and funding for research and innovation ambitions; resource efficiency in industry in Southern Africa; and biogas industry drivers, barriers, and solutions.

The IFAT Africa exhibition and conference is presented in collaboration with leading industry associations including the Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA), Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), Corrosion Institute of South Africa, Strategic Water Partners Network SA, Southern Africa Biogas Association (SABIA), the Southern Africa Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC),  African Sustainable Energy Association (AFSEA), German Water Partnership, Bavarian Research Alliance, Bavarian State Ministry, Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste, and the NEPAD Business Foundation.

To view the full conference agenda, please visit

Zinc is the perfect recyclable material

11 July 2023: The most common application of zinc is to protect steel from corrosion by hot-dip galvanizing. The zinc-steel combination has significant economic benefits in terms of lifecycle costs. Improved air quality in many industrialised countries, with diminishing levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2), means zinc coatings provide even longer protection for steel.

“Steel is one of the most widely used materials on the planet. Thanks to zinc, steel’s durability can be prolonged,” says Simon Norton, International Zinc Association (IZA) Africa Executive Director. Both steel and zinc are 100% recyclable indefinitely without the loss of chemical or physical properties.

In fact, steel is the most recycled material in the world, with virtually 100% of all structural steel reclaimed for repossessing and nearly 94% of structural shapes built from recycled steel. The reclamation rate for zinc is more than 80%, which means the majority of zinc available for recycling is indeed recycled.

At present, about 70% of the zinc produced originates from mined ores and 30% from recycled or secondary zinc. The level of recycling is increasing in step with progress in zinc production and zinc recycling technologies. Zinc is recycled at all stages of production and use, from the production of galvanized steel sheet to scrap generated during manufacturing and installation processes and from products at their end-of-life.

The life of zinc-containing products is variable and can range from ten to 15 years for cars or household appliances and to over 100 years for zinc sheet used for roofing. Street-lighting poles made from zinc-coated steel can remain in service for 50 years or much longer, while transmission towers can endure for over 70 years.

“All these products tend to be replaced due to obsolescence, not because the zinc has ceased to protect the underlying steel. For example, zinc coated steel poles placed in the Australian outback a hundred years ago are still in excellent condition,” reports Norton.

The presence of zinc coating on steel does not restrict steel’s recyclability. All types of zinc-coated products are recyclable. Zinc coated steel is recycled along with other steel scraps during the steel production process, during which the zinc volatilises and is then recovered. The supply of zinc-coated steel scrap is expected to double over the next five years, as more zinc-coated products enter the recycling stream.

Critical Minerals Africa Forum Welcomes Launch Partners, Promotes Africa's Vital Role in Global Growth

3 July 2023, Cape Town – Energy Capital & Power announces that the Critical Minerals Africa investment summit will take place on 17-18 October in Cape Town, South Africa. This inaugural summit kicks off a series of results-driven African events with the goal of strengthening global supply chains for critical minerals; increasing value addition in critical minerals production within Africa; and fueling global economic growth through sustainably produced African resources.

Organizer Energy Capital & Power is proud to work with industry leading partners and welcomes private and public sector partners to join this important initiative. The African Energy Chamber is the official Strategic Partner and has endorsed Critical Minerals Africa. Leading data and analysis firm Rystad Energy is Knowledge Partner. We are pleased to welcome Moore Global as Advisory Partner. South African Airways is the first Airline Partner to join the conference.

Discussions are ongoing with member countries of the Minerals Strategic Partnership and other major consumers, African and Middle Eastern ministers, private sector mining houses, private equity and financial institutions, and the International Energy Agency to send delegations and speakers to the summit.

The event will drive dealmaking and connect funding with projects, including closed-door sessions and meetings, and public deal-signing and policy announcement sessions.

Critical Minerals Africa takes place concurrently with African Energy Week (Cape Town, 16-20 October 2023), hosted by the African Energy Chamber. This collaboration enables delegates to gain exposure to a far wider network, to take part in discussions across a broader spectrum of mining and energy issues, and to gain access to a larger number of high-profile national delegations in the resources sector. With critical minerals a key driver of the success of the energy transition, the co-location of Critical Minerals Africa and African Energy Week in Cape Town in October provides a unique and powerful value to stakeholders.

Conference director James Chester said: “Critical Minerals Africa stands at the intersection of energy and mining, and at the forefront of Africa’s emergence as a catalyst for global growth. This is the dealmaking and policy announcement space where projects find investors, investors create opportunities, and governments map out the future of their mining industries. The Energy Capital & Power team is excited to welcome international, African and South African delegates to this strategic event in Cape Town.”

Critical Minerals Africa takes place on 17-18 October at the CTICC in Cape Town, South Africa.

Tickets are now available at