Facilitating stakeholder engagement to drive industry growth

BERNARD SWANEPOEL Early engagement is the solution to ensuring participation of the mining industry’s key stakeholders at the event

SECTOR LIAISON Top-end investors continue to use the Joburg Indaba to engage with members of the mining industry

23rd September 2016

By: Aarifah Nosarka



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Trying to address all the problems the African mining industry faces in two days is a challenge, says Joburg Indaba chairperson Bernard Swanepoel, but he believes that the annual Joburg Indaba mining conference has this “down to a fine art”.

A major challenge, however, is ensuring the participation of industry regulators and relevant government departments, with the presence of the Department of Mineral Resources being “vital,” he points out.

Limited to only 500 attendees, the conference, organised by independent entrepreneurial company Resources 4 Africa, is themed Investing in Resources and Mining in Africa and will take place on October 5 and 6 at the Inanda Club, in Johannesburg. The event aims to drive the way forward for the mining industry and share insights into global commodity market prospects and investment opportunities.

“We will delve into these issues and more to find solutions at our event,” Swanepoel enthuses, noting that the main discussion points at the event will be the challenges that CEOs face, as well as solutions to these challenges; optimal capital requirements; labour in all its forms; new energy resources; and the current project opportunities available in Africa.

He says early engagement is the solution to ensuring participation of the mining industry’s key stakeholders at the event, with this engagement taking place at the beginning of the year.

“It is the key stakeholders who set the issues and topics that we need to showcase and engage in. Further, we look to ensure that every stakeholder is involved during the event. Without expression and involvement by all stakeholders, mining houses, suppliers, unions, government departments and regulators, progress in this industry would be at a stalemate.

“We provide opportunities for all stakeholders to participate in open, honest and frank conversation, and believe that, as a group, we can find solutions to the current challenges facing the industry,” Swanepoel emphasises.

He expects the event’s networking lounge, part of the two-way dialogue event, to be the busiest it has been since its inception in 2013. This is where participating delegates congregate during breaks and industry stakeholders meet for further discussion on recent projects, opportunities and challenges in the industry.

Continued Growth
The Joburg Indaba has grown significantly in delegate attendance, sponsor and speaker requests, as well as media attendance and coverage over the years, which Swanepoel attributes to the provision of a niche market and platform where stakeholders can have in-depth discussions on issues pertaining to mining.

“Since the event’s inception in 2013, attendance has more than doubled, with average growth in attendees increasing by 40% year-on-year.”

The conference was established to deal with “pressing factors”, such as the South African mining sector’s unique labour challenges, taxation policies, energy resource opportunities and community expectations, which, according to Swanepoel, necessitates the need for collaboration with industry stakeholders.

This year’s speaker line-up is expected to include Chamber of Mines (CoM) South Africa head of safety and sustainable development Dr Sizwe Phakathi, CoM VP and platinum miner Anglo American South Africa executive head Andile Sangqu and financial advisory group Rothschild South Africa deputy chairperson and senior adviser to Rothschild worldwide Trevor Manuel.

Manuel will deliver the Joburg Indaba keynote address, which will focus on what the mining industry should be doing to make itself a key driver of the economy.

Last year’s keynote address was also delivered by Manuel and contextualised mining and the National Development Plan.

Phakathi will delve into “how good (or bad)” the sector is regarding its safety, while Sangqu is expected to speak about “how good (or bad)” industry productivity is.

Speakers from South Africa’s gold industry at last year’s conference included Gold Fields chairperson Cheryl Carolus, AngloGold Ashanti chairperson Sipho Pityana, Harmony Gold CEO Graham Briggs and Sibanye Gold CEO Neal Froneman, who has been confirmed as a panellist at this year’s Joburg Indaba.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union president Joseph Mathunjwa will be among the about 30 confirmed panellists at the upcoming event.

Last year’s event saw Mathunjwa attend a plenary session on the second day of the conference alongside platinum mining company Impala Platinum CEO Terence Goodlace, which was chaired by Swanepoel.

“We were honoured and humbled to welcome Joseph and Terence to such an occasion, which we believe was the first ever conversation of its kind held in the public domain.”

Meanwhile, Swanepoel says the event is also expected to draw global and local investors and analysts.

“We have a number of companies pitching their projects. Not only does this involve current business operations but also new mining developments across Africa,” he remarks.

In addition, Swanepoel states that a dinner will be held the night before the conference on October 4, where an “industry stalwart” will share insight into successful projects and operations. “We will be revealing a very exciting and positive addition to the mining industry, so I suggest people book and be a part of a little history in the making,” he boasts.

Swanepoel expects future editions of the Joburg Indaba to build on its growing legacy of being the platform for honest collaborative dialogue with all mining industry stakeholders to ensure a solid and robust future for mining.

Edited by Tracy Hancock
Creamer Media Contributing Editor



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