South Africa has “excellent artisans” who have valuable experience in the mining industry, says end-to-end supply chain management company ITM Katope South Africa (SA) country manager Loraine Potgieter.
The ITM group of companies was founded by Sylva Monga in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It and its sister company high-density polyethylene specialist Geo Katanga are primarily focused on the mining industry in the DRC and in South Africa.
Potgieter notes that the current shortage of artisans in the mining industry is a “serious challenge”.
She lauds the South African Ministry of Higher Education’s suggestion that school leavers without a matric certificate or those who do not qualify to study at institutions of higher learning – such as universities – be trained as artisans as a “brilliant step in the right direction”.
This could contribute much needed skills to the mining industry while providing a “lifeline” for technically skilled learners, as they would be in a better position in terms of employment opportunities, suggests Potgieter.
“Government and communities are pushing for people to be formally educated and get degrees; however, there is not always room for that. Being a tradesperson at this stage is one of the best opportunities available,” affirms ITM Katope SA operations manager Adelle Pelser.
She adds that South Africa has an advantage, given the maturity of the mining industry and the wealth of knowledge developed over the decades. This prompts most African mining jurisdictions to depend on South African expertise in terms of knowledge transfer.
“We, as a company, can assist with the recruitment of young South Africans who have experience in mining and place them in mines in other African countries. We have started negotiations with some mining majors in this regard. We have developed expertise in supporting mining companies by providing them with quality labour at all levels, in all fields,” Potgieter states.
ITM Katope offers full services for the mining industry, including personal protective equipment and the supply of mining-related equipment as part of its strategic sourcing services into Africa.
“In all the services we try to provide, we try to offer the best price and the best product, in line with current industry trends,” Potgieter declares.
Having expanded to six other African countries, ITM Katope can form synergies with its business partners to share in opportunities across industries.
The variety of services offered enables involvement in numerous projects.
Pelser notes that, with the larger African economy revolving around the mining industry specifically, the company would like to increase its market share, without committing exclusively to mining.