/ MEDIA STATEMENT / This content is not written by Creamer Media, but is a supplied media statement.
Journalism students and media professionals once again gained new insights into the world of mining by hearing from industry experts about the many intricacies of the mining sector. This follows a two year break owing to COVID-19. The trainees also visited an active mining operation.
Twenty trainees including current journalists and journalism students attended a broad- ranging media training workshop in Melrose, Johannesburg where they heard from a diverse grouping of speakers about the various complex aspects of the mining sector.
The trainees represented various organisations and media houses including the SABC, Mining Review Africa, Voice of Wits FM, TUT Centre for Entrepreneurship Development Digital Platform, the Guardian Report, National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa and The Market Photo Workshop. Journalism students from Tshwane University of Technology, Rosebank College and the University of Johannesburg also attended the training programme.
Day 1 of Menar’s Mining Journalism Training (MJT) took the form of a seminar with a variety of topics unpacked by experts. Speakers included Press Council’s Executive Director Latiefa Mobara and Press Ombud Herman Scholtz; Mukurukuru Media Executive Director Lucas Ledwaba; Mining Labour Analyst Mamokgethi Molopyane; Mergence Corporate Solutions Director of Mining Peter Major, Herbert Smith Freehills Partner Peter Leon and Minerals Council South Africa Senior Executive: Public Affairs & Transformation Tebello Chabana.
On day 2 of MJT trainees visited Kangra’s – a subsidiary of Menar – new underground operation Udumo adit, located in Saul Mkhizeville, Mpumalanga. Kangra GM Pierre Louw provided trainees with a history of Kangra and an overview of the current mining operation. He noted that the first coal was mined from the adit in February 2022. The visit enabled the trainees to experience for themselves the realities and complexities of operating large-scale mines in South Africa.
Trainees Have Their Say
Freelance journalist and communications specialist Aurelia Mbokazi has been in the journalism sector for over 20 years. “The experts that were chosen to present at MJT were well chosen and the wealth of knowledge that they shared with us has been incredible. I loved the fact that they have been independent in their approach. I am leaving this training seminar with a great deal of knowledge from these two days,” she stated.
Founding journalist of the Guardian Report and VOW FM Content Producer Xolani Baloyi said “I’m glad that I could be part of this training as it has challenged me to make sure that I report in the right way.”
SABC Television News Bulletin Producer and Writer Joe Manciya attended MJT for the second time and said “Every time I’ve attended, I’ve gained more information and when I go back to work, I am viewed as an ‘expert’ of sorts on all things related to mining because I have more information than my colleagues. I have become a point of reference for anything about mineral resources, policies, labour and the like in mining because of MJT. MJT is also a great place where we as journalists can network and meet journalism students.”
Journalism Graduate Matlhodi Mathibela says: “What I enjoyed about MJT was how innovative mining journalism can be and how broad ranging it can be. I hope that I will be able to apply media ethics when collecting information for and writing up news stories.”
Menar extends its investments beyond business by investing in people and the community. Menar Academy encompasses in-house and public facilities for knowledge enhancement with the motto “LEARN, ENHANCE AND SHARE”. It is the platform for investing in people in Menar’s companies as well as in the mining sector. MJT, which is now in its fourth year, forms part of Menar’s skills and knowledge development programme, Menar Academy.