Zandile Mdanda

9th April 2021


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Full Name: Zandile Nothando Mdanda

Position and Company Name: CEO of Black Royalty Minerals Koornfontein

Main Activity of the Company: Mining and beneficiation of coal for domestic and export customers

Date and Place of Birth: December 13, 1983, Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal

Education: BSc (Hons) (Geology), University of the Witwatersrand (Wits); Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration, Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS); MBA, Wits Business School; MPhil (International Business) – current, GIBS

First Job: Graduate trainee geologist

Size of First Pay Packet: About R7 000 a month, in 2006

Career Path to Date: Trainee geologist to senior geologist at Anglo Coal, chief geologist at Xstrata Coal (now Glencore), chief geologist to GM: projects at African Exploration Mining & Finance Corporation, and then CEO of Milele Group

Value of Assets under Your Control: In excess of R500-million

Number of People under Your Leadership: About 500 employees when the mine is fully operational

Management Style: I am a servant leader who leads with the team; there are no hierarchies in my world. I allow my team to direct, take control and provide innovative ideas while I get my hands dirty with them. I empower my employees to realise their full potential, while collectively completing the tasks with them

Personal Best Achievement: Completing my MBA

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: My mother

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: Ranganai Chinamatira – he has been my mentor since I was a trainee at Anglo over 13 years ago and always pushes me to be better and reminds me all the time that every new role I take on will require a different version of me

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Jack Ma and Michelle Obama

Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: Dr Judy Dlamini – her leadership style and business acumen are impeccable

Philosophy of Life: Every event has a purpose and every setback its lesson

Biggest Ever Opportunity: Appointment as CEO of Koornfontein mine

Biggest Ever Disappointment: None – I take setbacks as a launch to something even better

Hope for the Future: To build a legacy that generations to come will be able to pay forward

Favourite Reading: The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, and Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

Favourite TV Programme: I don’t watch TV

Favourite Food/Drink: Seafood/tea

Favourite Music: Old-school R&B and gospel

Favourite Sport: I’m not that much into sport, but would have to say netball, as I played it while growing up

Hobbies: Cooking and travelling

Car: Maserati Levante

Pets: Goldfish

Miscellaneous Dislikes: Washing dishes

Married: Not Married

Children: Phakade Buthelezi, 6

Clubs: Bryanston Country Club

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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