Kangra Coal's Safety Risk Officer, Nokuthula Mokwena

“We’ve all learned very important lessons over this past year. You can make all the plans in the world but when a totally unexpected event like a once-in-a-generation global pandemic happens, something that you have no control over occurs, you just need to realign yourself and adapt quickly,” remarks Nokuthula Mokwena.

Nokuthula, who is the Safety Risk Officer at Kangra, says that all colleagues need to come together with a positive, forward-looking attitude to ensure the mine operates efficiently for the sake of all stakeholders. Especially the local community and staff, who depend heavily on the mine for their livelihoods.

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She has been with Kangra since 2013, starting off as a Systems Administrator and progressing her way up to her current position. “I think through my experience in systems building it helped me in transitioning to the Safety Department, as the mine required somebody that could look at the risk component of safety matters, such as compliance,” Nokuthula explains.

COVID-19 Compliance

Ensuring that standard operating practices (SOPs) and code of practices (COPS) are aligned according to regulations is a crucial part of the Safety Department’s mandate. However, these have been updated to incorporate COVID-19 protocols.

“When COVID-19 started, some of us didn’t have an opportunity to be in the workplace at that point in time. However, coming back, many colleagues have to learn to do things differently, as the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has given us a comprehensive guideline to follow in order to protect the health and safety of colleagues.”

“At the end of the day, we are parents, we are mothers, we are sisters, and we all need to be safe where we work, by taking these practices back to our home environment. Therefore, it’s crucial to stress to colleagues that we need to adhere to COVID-19 regulations on and off the mine,” she stresses.

Nokuthula is of the view that: “It’s up to us, as the Safety Department to always remind colleagues that they need to wear their masks, sanitize, wash our hands regularly and adhere to social distancing, wherever possible.”

Furthermore, we all need to also adhere to health and safety rules to achieve the goal of zero harm and ensure that all colleagues return home safe and healthy every day.

Promise Kept “I am over the moon with happiness to be back on site at Kangra. I was so grateful that Bradley Hammond and Menar, kept their word because he promised to bring us back to work when the mine reopened. I was very excited to receive my recall notification and am grateful to be back. I’m looking forward to being a positive and fruitful employee so that we can bring success to the mine,” she asserts enthusiastically.