More women needed in top mining jobs

2011-08-20 18:45

Johannesburg - More women are needed in top positions in the mining industry, Minerals Minister Susan Shabangu said on Saturday.

"Women's place is and should not be in the kitchen, that is, [the] soft jobs of these mining companies," she said in a speech prepared for delivery.

"We wish to see women occupying meaningful and even strategic jobs in the mining industry, including those at board level."

Shabangu was speaking at the annual Women in Mining conference at the University of the Witwaterand in Johannesburg.

She said she was pleased with the marginal improvement in the position of women since the introduction of the Mining Charter in 2002.

The charter required mining companies to ensure that 10% of their total workforce needed to be women by 2009.

"Even though mining companies have just fallen short of the 10% target... I am still very concerned.


"The mining industry by its very nature and for historical reasons still reflects an ethos that is a reflection of the male dominance of this sector," Shabangu said.

"The role and place of women in mining is not a mere luxury, or irrelevancy....It is something that must happen, and be made to happen, without delay. It is part of righting the wrongs of history."

She said the government was committed to the advancement of black and gender empowerment as well the reversal of oppression and exploitation in the mining sector.

"The Freedom Charter made bold the statement that strategic areas such as the banks and the minerals beneath our soil should belong to the people as a whole.

"It is up to us, today, to decide the means to achieve this," Shabangu said.


  • PinkAndProud - 2011-08-20 19:05

    Absolute BS! The right people should be in the boardroom regardless of colour or sex .... The right people ie. those qualified to hold the position.

      Neil - 2011-08-20 19:20

      Hmmmm. Wonder how many white woman will qualify?? Or will this be complete AA again?

      James Weather - 2011-08-20 19:28

      Very true .... BUT they cant see that ... ie. Eskom, SABC, Telkom, SAA, etc. you name a nationalised company in South Africa with BEE that has worked... NONE come to mind? Well there are none... Everything that BEE touches turns to corruption or mismanagement ... I dear someone to prove me wrong!

      Komasa - 2011-08-20 20:07

      @Neil what makes you think the 'soft pink' ladies can work in mines?

      frangelico - 2011-08-20 21:08

      Spot on.Idiots who don't understand whats expected of them, low matric grades,pushed through to varsity,low varity grades pushed through as passed,to do very demanding jobs.These people can no longer claim ""disadvantaged"they are the product of BEE & AA.If it wasn't for that they would still be in the gutter. But the culture of you owe me(branded condoms,sanitary towels) I wonder what the next demand will be.White students need to get a certain percentage before acceptance(usually much higher than for blacks)they qualify then can't get the job.No mrs Shabangu you stick with your half literate pupils,the whites are not wanted here,they will go where they are appreciated.Sadly for you thats the best you'll get.No country wants to employ S.AFRICAN Blacks You & the Anc taught them now you are stuck with them.

      O'forth - 2011-08-21 10:28

      I am sick of this woman this woman that women's day? where is the men's day, the dead mine workers memorial. Stick'em in the pits I say, let them work their way up!

  • Irish Mike - 2011-08-20 19:14

    Whenever I see a woman or black in a position I always wonder did they get there because they can or because of these stupid discriminatory laws. The law does discriminate as you are in the position because you are a woman or black. Wake up people.

      Komasa - 2011-08-20 20:23

      Long live the IRA.

      frangelico - 2011-08-20 22:20

      Irish MikeI do agree with the black part(BEE,AA)but I do feel you are been sexist.Maria Ramos is the best thing that happened to absa,many white woman have worked extremely hard to get to the positions they hold. Even some of the black ladies I am sure got to these positions because of hard work.I suggest Irish Mike you accept that many woman are better than men at the respective job.So it may do you the world of good to catch a big wake up us woman can & do our jobs better than you,as well as running a home,come evening you come to bed with a boep the size of a woman in her last week of prgnancy.

      Montblanc - 2011-08-21 03:59

      frangelico, but men can still stand up and p. men and woman are different, in body and mind, for good reasons. Do we ever hear of men being told that there should be more "stay at home" dads? The biggest disaster you will create is to force people into positions they didn't get to through natural movements. Go work down in the mine with the men and workk with them, then you yap again. By the way, is it acceptable to say women can do jobs better than men? If a man is saying woman can't do the jobs, they are sexist? Imho, some woman look permanently pregnant with a bigger boep than the men.

      Irish Mike - 2011-08-21 09:05

      Frangeloco, I did not say women or blacks could not do the work, all I am saying is that there are targets to be met with how many women and blacks in top positions and the company as a whole. Currently there is so much window dressing going on with incompetent persons riding on the backs of competent people just to satisfy some target or pay a fine. It is cheaper to employ these persons than pay the fine. By the way, in no way was I being derogotary towards anyone at all and for someone my age I am still quite slim and rather fit so why did you have to think that I have a boep as large as a woman in her last month?

  • Marcell - 2011-08-20 19:15

    Give them a shovel. Everyone have to start at the bottom.

      Kenko - 2011-08-21 07:44

      Spoornet was also told to appoint women as loco drivers, and as a result they had to retrofit each locomotive so it contains a loo. Cost? More than a million per loco. But the women drivers don't last, the job proved to be too arduous for them. So the whole excercise was a waste of money. So will these mining jobs be. To each his own, and you do what you do best. Mining is not for women.

  • Bill - 2011-08-20 19:17


      Marcell - 2011-08-20 19:25

      So they can line their pockets.

      crackerr - 2011-08-20 21:09

      Yes indeed. Why? Just because they are women? It is irrational. Sometimes however one must also consider that even ministers need to have something to say for the occasion. Fortunately for them it is easy in South Africa. We know the easy topics. Unfortunately the undeserving score with lined pockets.

      frangelico - 2011-08-20 22:28

      Bill because you get biggots like Marcell,who perceive woman to be inferior.Change places with a woman for 1 week,then we will talk again.Most womanhold down demanding jobs plus are homemakers.Marcell I suggest you pick up the first shovel and show us how its done.

      Marcell - 2011-08-21 01:34

      @frangelico: Done that. Mining start at the coalface. It has got nothing to do with inferior. Anglo's boss is a women but not a token placement! In general: stop giving people things. LET THEM WORK FOR IT! that goes for males and females!!!!

  • Macho Mike - 2011-08-20 19:20

    Woman in a mining boardroom may be seen to be "Gold Diggers". Best person should get the job, whether that is a man, woman, lesbian or tranny, black or white etc. Except Malema and his school buddies.

      zaatheist - 2011-08-21 04:26

      The Minister is simply trying to create cushy overpaid jobs for the uneducated members of his extended family.

      Grant - 2011-08-21 07:13

      zaatheist - you should learn to read articles properly before commenting boet, the minister is a woman, Susan Shabangu.

  • xtc4 - 2011-08-20 19:21

    Maybe most woman are simply not interested?

  • Sabata - 2011-08-20 19:33

    I'm surprised that so many of us have forgotten all about job reservation..i agree with your comments only as far as appointing the right person for the job but i also know that there are hudreds of highly qualified women (of all races) who deserve to be given a chance to prove themselves

  • Meetsnoer - 2011-08-20 19:46

    if more women were at their homes and in the kitchen there would be less crime because there would be normal homes, parent love and discipline.

      Komasa - 2011-08-20 20:16

      What economic system forced woman into 'factory work' to suppliment the household income. We have never had the priviledge of 'stay at home moms' to greet us when we come home from school and put a scrumptuos lunch on the table. I agree with your comment, but it is a bit of 'pie in the sky' these days where 'return on investment' is more important than social morality.

  • JudithNkwe - 2011-08-20 20:18

    I suggest that Minister Shabangu goes down a mine and thinks about whether women should be there. Mining is a sunset industry, let's go forward

  • Brieuse - 2011-08-20 20:37

    rubbish, we need people in charge that have been successful on the shop floor. What experience do you have on the shop floor Susan? besides sweeping.

      Marcell - 2011-08-21 01:38

      Maybe bending over for zoomer?

  • GottheTshirt - 2011-08-20 20:37

    There are some qualified and deserving women in mining, but there are also some absolutely misplaced individuals that have zero leadership skills but that are untouchable because of this fixation with BEE numbers game. One particular nasty example will soon become operation director. You know who you are, we all do!

  • MrWhite - 2011-08-20 20:46

    And I believe that there aren't enough women playing for the Springboks.

      Horst - 2011-08-20 20:59

      Yes, good point, we want gender equity in rugby as well. And also don't forget we also have to have a few disabled players.

  • bmfadala1 - 2011-08-20 21:31

    im really surprised n dissappointed by the comments. As South Africans we need to think about transformation n have a willingness and understanding to/of change. Women in mining is part of transformation, building da nation n recognising da role n importance of women. Im a student doing my finally year in mining n we need regular South Africans to understand and appreciate women and believe in them. Women have more potential and resilience and can take this country far if given the platform. Stop being against change rather be part of it. The world is moving forward, why do you want to get stuck behind cans we need to think about transformation n have a willingness and understanding to/of change. Women in mining is part of transformation, building da nation n recognising da role n importance of women. Im a student doing my finally year in mining n we need regular South Africans to understand and appreciate women and believe in them. Women have more potential and resilience and can take this country far if given the platform. Stop being against change rather be part of it. The world is moving forward, why do you want to get stuck behind

      Horst - 2011-08-20 22:16

      Hmm, well, bmfadala, you will probably find that most of us in these comment pages have nothing against woman being in mining. What we are complaining about is the forced appointments, putting non deserving people into jobs that they cannot handle. And this is what you will get when you force gender equity.

      Marcell - 2011-08-21 01:41

      From time to time I deal with women at Eksdom. There are some real competant once and there are some to make up the numbers. They give the once that can do a job well a bad name.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-08-20 22:18

    The sad thing is,the one's placed in positions of trust / government,tend to be just as corrupt,lazy and incompetent as the the male comrades! EXCEPT -- Madonsela,the rest are not worth much and only gets fatter

  • Sean - 2011-08-20 23:35

    Um - and what is it that they can do in the mining industry that a man cant do??

  • Anne - 2011-08-21 04:20

    Is this Minister Susan Shabangu in any way related to the notorious businessman Roux Shabangu?

      Grant - 2011-08-21 07:15

      Excellent question..would love to know that!

      Marcell - 2011-08-21 10:46

      They are all brothers and sistas. The way they screw around who knows.

  • AKS - 2011-08-21 05:03

    Women and color must not come in way to man mining industry and I do agree with this article. The mining industry should take lead in this direction globally and demonstrate the success on ground.

  • Dries - 2011-08-21 08:16

    "More women needed in top mining jobs" OMG..... more incompetence. Africans were well organised and in stable societies when their women cultivated the fields and prepared food were not allowed to take part in high level discussions, and men sat around drinking beer and manage the community issues. You can never put a woman into a position of authority over men. Full stop. They simply are not up to it. They are designed and born into this world to bear babies and feed them and wash the dishes and clean the house. Barefoot in winter and pregnant in summer. If she is not in the kitchen,she must be by the cot. Full stop.

      sipholess - 2011-08-21 10:52

      Dries for President.

  • SK87 - 2011-08-21 08:28

    It is so disappointing to see that there are still negative and destructive people like Frangelico and Dries. Does the fact that most blacks are making it make you feel insecure and threatened? I really feel sorry for you man because you're making life difficult for yourself (unnecessarily).

      crackerr - 2011-08-21 11:36

      You talk nonsense. Here is a question for then in the same fashion as your question. Does the fact that it is pointed out that most of the appointments agitated for based on sex and race will turn out to be token appointments make you feel insecure, threatened and a perhaps a bit inferior? Hey? What do you now say? It is not difficult to come up with nonsense and to introduce nuanced twisted meanings into discussions on these forums. Many of us are able to do it. So piss off!

  • mlucejko - 2011-08-21 11:32

    Now that's a stupid comment !! It's like saying we need more women in the SA Rugby team ??

  • letsee - 2011-08-21 13:31

    Agreed but.. How? Should mining companies appoint women for the sake of being women or should moning companies look at managerial competences and their profits to keep miners employed?

  • Mark - 2011-08-21 14:03

    I do believe that the right person should have the job, male or female

  • maseratifitt - 2011-08-21 19:54

    The biggest mistake is to force the issue. Let the market sort itself out. BEE and AA cost this country dearly. It always starts at the top and it is about the money, not about performance. Hence productivity suffers.

  • deminimus - 2011-10-02 02:19

    All executive personnel should spend some time down a pit so they they know what a miner experiences on a daily basis. Let them spend a day in the dark with just the lamp on their helmet for light and drill up into the roof of a tunnel with water flowing down on them.The noise is horrendous they they need to know what they are talking about in the boardroom.

  • annie.kalahari - 2011-10-02 06:19

    Why not just hand over those productive gold-mines in Springs to the ownership of Winnie Mandela? Oh I forgot, they WERE very productive just a few years back and thousands of miners and their families were making a good living from these well-run enterprises. And then the Black Diamonds from the Zuma/Mandela factions got their claws into these mines and proceeded to break them down right to the very structures of the mine shafts. Now the mines are filling up with poisonous minewater which is threatening the health of Springs residents. People should not EVER be handed the management of mines unless they REALLY intend to keep those mines producing their valuable minerals while also providing a good living-wage for its workers. Whether they are 'men' or 'women'.

  • Gratitude - 2011-10-22 20:08

    hi whatever the mining industry say might end up in a qualified diesel mech and an assessor,i`ve been in mining field for 10yrs.what i`ve seen and experience is that 1.we dont have black women in middle management,supervisory positions will never find a white woman underground as an assistance our latest intake of mine/eng assistance they have sign white woman for the positions of assistance but end in the offices as officials 4.our profession in training programmes are occupied by a majority of white people without consideration of qualifications in our mining industry still people get first prefference

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