The Wits Mining Institute (WMI) will hold a three-day seminar, from August 6 to 8, titled ‘Empowering Leaders for 21st Century Mining’, which will cover important topics relevant to leadership in mining, specifically for women.
The programme has been designed by Wits Commercial Enterprise’s Short Courses unit to inspire, support, empower and develop leaders.
It will also offer continuing professional development points. The seminar is aimed at future leaders – especially women – including graduates, supervisors and managers in the mining sector.
WMI’s Professor Fred Cawood emphasises that effective leadership is crucial to achieving a thriving mining sector in the country.
“The need for growing talent and leadership for the South African economy – and the mining sector in particular – is greater than ever before. The disruption that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is causing is significantly affecting twenty-first-century mining, employment and skills,” he says.
He adds that organisational success and sustainability begins or ends with leadership.
As the South African mining sector is labour intensive, the performance of a mining company depends primarily on the productivity of its workforce.
“Leaders need to be appropriately skilled and empowered to effectively lead the organisation, but just as importantly, they must be able to impact employee performance through effective leadership and staff engagement,” Cawood stresses.
Going into the future, Cawood notes that there are uncertainties about the future of mining and work.
“To explore these important concepts, the seminar sessions will make use of exciting methodologies, including visits and reflection sessions for application and impact back into the workplace,” he said.
Included in the programme is a visit to the Wits Sibanye-Stillwater Digital Mining Laboratory, a digitally monitored, realistic underground mining environment.
There will also be a visit to the Wits Tshimologong Digital Innovation hub in Braamfontein.
The WMI is a centre of excellence that promotes innovation and sustainability in the extractive sectors through developing skills and technology. It is part of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at Wits University in Johannesburg.