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#miningindaba18: Sustainability has been mainstreamed

Sustainability has moved out of the realm of soft issues, and has become such an integral part of the mining industry that it has been "mainstreamed" at the Mining Indaba, said veteran journalist, Hilary Joffe.
Mxolisa Mgojo, CEO: Exxaro Resources, Hilary Joffe, and Rudi Dicks, Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency.
She was interviewing Mxolisi Mgojo, CEO: Exxaro Resources and president: Chamber of Mines and Rudi Dicks, who is with the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency as part of the Indaba’s Sustainable Development Day progamme. Dicks was standing in for Jeff Radebe, minister in The Presidency, who had been summoned to an urgent meeting. No doubt, the one that saw the State of the Nation Address, scheduled for Thursday, being postponed as the government decide the fate of President Jacob Zuma.

The title of the interview was The evolution of industry thinking and approach to responsible mining and the role of social trust in creating a sustainable future for the sector.

Dicks kicked off the discussion by saying that mining in South Africa had been in existence for a long time, and although it had a positive effect on the economy, it was a negative in terms of social impact.

Mgojo agreed, adding that: “Mining was the guts of institutionalising apartheid laws and the mining industry really has a lot of work to do to rectify this..

“Solutions for the future must involve all stakeholders. We need to have a collective vision for mining. This requires great effort from all stakeholders. This collective pain will allow us to move into the centre.”

Operating in silos


He was also critical of the lack of cohesion among the various government departments involved in the mining industry. “The departments operate in silos, so it’s difficult to understand what their vision is.”

Dicks pointed to Operation Phakisa, the fast results delivery programme launched in 2014 to implement the National Development Plan, with the ultimate goal of boosting economic growth and create jobs, proved that government and industry can be united for a common good.
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