MARIA MOGANEDI Moganedi has gone from being one of the first ladies to complete a blasting training certificate in the mining sector to being the CEO of a women-centric mine contracting company
With a clear goal to become a reputable service provider to pre-selected blue chip mining companies, black woman-led and women-centric mine contracting company TseboKgadi has been launched.
TseboKgadi – which means “women with knowledge” in Sotho – has been established by mining advisory company Ukwazi to not only serve current industry needs and requirements, but also drive the representation and advancement of women in the mining sector.
“The inception of TseboKgadi was motivated by Ukwazi’s internal business growth and diversity strategies to tap into the contract mining space and to support small, medium-sized and microenterprises in the communities where it operates,” says senior mining engineer and CEO Maria Moganedi.
TseboKgadi has already submitted some tenders for mine rehabilitation and tailings dump re-mining projects.
“We are also in exclusive negotiations with a client to set up a demonstration site for the unique mining equipment that we intend to introduce to the market,” she enthuses. The equipment is suitable for topsoil stripping, sand mining, rehabilitation and closure projects. It is an innovative solution that saves costs and delivers great efficiency, compared with truck or shovel operations.
Moganedi stresses that TseboKgadi is the vehicle through which Ukwazi will play an impactful and niche role in the contract mining space by introducing alternatives to traditional truck-and-shovel mining methods and drill-and-blast techniques.
The scope of TseboKgadi’s offerings include rehabilitation projects, surface mining, the maintenance of haul roads and stockpiles, and crushing and screening projects, as well as in-pit dewatering.
Moganedi says that, similar to a new employee entering the job market, a new company entering a sector faces the question of having enough experience and track record, so the first market opportunity, with the right client, will mean a critical breakthrough.
“We need to prove our know-how with every project we execute,” she says.
However, this is where support from Ukwazi, as the parent company, is vital.
In this regard, Moganedi says Ukwazi has an impressive and proven record in the South African mining industry built up since 2004, across different commodities and mining methods, thereby enabling TseboKgadi to benefit from Ukwazi’s experience.
Meanwhile, authentic transformation and meaningful inclusion of women in the mining industry are also not going to be achieved through simply ensuring the meeting of scorecard requirements and enforcement policies, she avers.
“I strongly believe that it will take bold and honest leaders, both men and women, and stakeholders in the industry, to make up their minds that the structural and economic exclusion of women in the industry stops with them, consequently starting the road to transformation.”
With mining stereotypically perceived as more dangerous for women than other sectors, Moganedi believes that, once the perception is dispelled, more women could look at the sector as an attractive future career option.