Full name(s) and surname:
Cynthia Masoko Malatji
Engineer in training
What contribution do you see yourself making to the Young Professionals Council and the SAIMM?
I am passionate about personal development, especially upskilling yourself. In most mining companies, the only personal development is MQA skills programmes which may not allow you to develop yourself in a specific area. I want to give back through career guidance and human development (coaching, and mentoring).
Interactions/activities that you currently participate in within the SAIMM (if applicable):
- Bachelor of Science in Engineering – Mining engineering (2016)
- Certificate in project management (2018)
- Certificate in corporate governance and risk management (2020)
- Postgraduate Diploma in business management Candidate (2021-2022)
Brief career history:
I started working for Palabora Copper (Pty) Ltd in January 2017, as an engineer in training. I completed my underground Competent A and blasting assistant same year. Late 2017, I joined mine planning where I was responsible for daily production planning, monthly scheduling and reporting.
In 2018, I joined logistics where I was exposed to magnetite stockpile hydro-mining, load and haul, trucking and demand planning and forecasting.
In 2019 to current, I joined the brownfields project for expansion under mine design and scheduling. Here, I am exposed to mining schedule updating through Mine 2-4D and EPS, quarterly plan updates for finance, planning for undercutting and conducting safety procedures (risk assessments, audits, procedures), and contractor management
Date and place of birth:
Born 1993 January 08th
Other industry body affiliations?
What are your views on the 4th industrial revolution?
Innovation, data analytics, business intelligence and robotics are key factors that will solve many challenges in the industry to remain sustainable. The challenge lies with whether we are ready to move into this revolution. With the case of COVID-19, many countries especially developing countries had to quickly adapt to the change with no plans whatsoever to move into using technology for teaching and working from home.
In essence, I foresee loss of employment due to skills shortage required to leverage this revolution. Companies also having the burden of government regulations to maintain a certain compliance required by law. Therefore, government policies and regulations must evolve to support this new era. Above that, employees in the job market may struggle to develop their skills to deal with new technology requirements.
The South African education system has been characterised by overcrowded classrooms and poor educational outcomes. These mostly describe rural school which relatively have access to technology, if there is, it is limited. The revolution will bring challenges in terms of educational equality across the board whereas the system is already unequal.
So, there are many challenges that need to be considered and evolved to support this new era. It is a good era; it opens new opportunities and enhance economic growth but some may suffer the effects of the change.
If you were a precious metal what would you be and why?
I consider myself valuable and not easily weakened by challenges of life. Thus, I feel Gold represents me well.
How do you think industry bodies such as the SAIMM can better equip young professionals such as yourself?
SAIMM brings together professionals from all levels (young, associates and experts in their field). Industry bodies can utilise mentorship, career guidance especially in high schools (in disadvantaged areas), and the introduction of projects that grade 11 & 12 can enter in a specific field of study. These will introduce students to different fields of study these bodies support and influence.
How do you see young professionals making a significant change in the industry?
The industry is moving into the fourth industrial revolution, which is an era of innovation, business intelligence and robotics which requires new skills that support this evolution. Kofi Annan said “Knowledge is power, Information is liberating and Education is the premise of progress in every society and family”.
With this statement, young professionals can invest in upcoming young professionals and arm them with information and assist them make informed decisions with respect to career choices. Being in the industry for a few years, we can already see where the gaps in skills are and we can use this information to advice our young professionals to close these gaps.
What gets you up in the morning?
I grew up in a family of teachers. Learning became the best motivator throughout life. Whenever I am fascinated by something, I want to learn it and I allocate time for it. I am fascinated by mine planning and project management. I wake up every morning to keep growing in the field of mine planning, project management and scheduling. The idea of creating meaningful scenarios to analyse data, plan and schedule activities for best results and solve problems as and when they occur is what keeps me going.
Social media links or information: