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#MiningMatters Campaign Reveals the Impact of Mining in South Africa

Beyond Extraction: How Mining Nurtures Communities and Fuels Growth

by Adenike Adeodun


  • Through their #MiningMatters campaign, the Minerals Council of South Africa illuminates the multifaceted impacts of mining on South African society, from employees to communities and the broader economy.
  • Mining companies actively enhance lives and livelihoods through Social and Labour Plans, investing in education, healthcare, infrastructure, and more. In 2023, they spent R2.3 billion on socio-economic development, benefiting 60% of formal employment.
  • The industry’s commitment to gender diversity is evident, with women comprising 19% of the full-time workforce and 25% of management.

Mining—the heartbeat of South Africa’s economy—has been quietly shaping lives for over a century. Beyond the glimmering gold and precious metals lies a narrative of strength, progress, and social impact.

The Minerals Council of South Africa, spearheading an initiative under the banner of #MiningMatters, seeks to illuminate the often-overlooked facets of mining. Mzila Mthenjane, CEO of the Minerals Council, passionately advocates for mining’s relevance. He reminds us that this sector isn’t merely about extracting minerals; it’s woven into the fabric of our nation.

Through the lens of national economic gain, mining contributes significantly through taxes and royalties. But its impact extends far beyond balance sheets. It’s about jobs, wages, and benefits—the very heartbeat of communities. It’s about investing in education and training, building social projects, and providing critical minerals for our health and well-being.

Mining companies aren’t faceless entities; they’re active participants in the lives of South Africans. Their Social and Labour Plans (SLPs) are more than bureaucratic documents—they’re blueprints for positive change. These plans channel resources into schools, healthcare facilities, infrastructure, and bursaries. They empower communities, ensuring that progress isn’t confined to boardrooms.

In 2023 alone, mining companies poured R2.3 billion into socio-economic development. Education and health took center stage, impacting lives across five commodities. This investment isn’t abstract—it translates to real opportunities for families, bridging gaps and fostering hope.

The mining industry isn’t just about men in hard hats. It’s a place where women thrive, breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes. In 2023, 36,480 women—19% of the full-time workforce—contributed significantly. Coal, iron ore, and diamond producers led the charge, with gold and platinum group metal (PGM) companies also making strides.

But it’s not just about numbers. Women occupy 25% of management positions—a testament to their leadership and resilience. As the industry evolves, so does its commitment to gender equality. The once male-dominated landscape now embraces diversity, recognizing that progress knows no gender.

Mining isn’t just about rocks and minerals; it’s about people. It’s about the miner who toils underground, the child who dreams of education, and the woman who defies convention. As we celebrate mining’s legacy, let’s remember that its impact isn’t measured in ounces of gold—it’s etched in the lives it touches. South Africa’s mining industry isn’t just relevant; it’s essential, and it matters more than ever.


Source: Mining Review

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