Even though ZAC was placed on care and maintenance in March 2020 it has been unwavering in its continued commitment and support to provide young people with technical training through its internship and learnership programmes.
A few interns and learners share their experiences in brief below.
Ulundi-born Environmental Intern Ayanda Khumalo (24), who is supervised by Environmental Manager Niketiwe Dlamini commenced her internship at ZAC in November 2020.
An Environmental Sciences graduate from the University of KwaZulu Natal, Ayanda says her aims for coming to the mine were to learn and to gain exposure to the environment for what it is.
“At university we are taught the theory, but now I am seeing for myself the impact that mining can have on the environment and surrounding communities.
For example, I have been to different sites to do inspections and we got to understand how something like a leakage or a spillage could cause damage to the flora and fauna species.
It has only been a few months but I’ve learnt a great deal in this time and I’m looking forward to learning so much more.”
Nongoma-local Learner Electrician Ncebo Sibiya (27), is a graduate of Mthashana TVET College and his supervisor is electrician Sizwe Mbatha.
He started his learnership at ZAC in November 2019. While the lockdown and placement of ZAC on care and maintenance has disrupted his learnership timetable.
Ncebo was fortunate to be part of the care and maintenance team, which has managed and maintained the site in preparation for its reopening.
“It’s been a challenging time returning to site and having to adhere to strict COVID-19 protocols, but I have learnt a great deal from the experience and looking forward to getting the mine back to full capacity as we ramp up the operation.”
Nhlungwane-born Phindile Xulu (27) is an electrical engineering intern who began her internship at ZAC in November 2020.
She studied Electrical Engineering at Mangosuthu University of Technology. She works in the Engineering Department and her supervisor is Engineering Manager Leon Grobbelaar.
“It has been an amazing experience working at ZAC and getting to learn so much about engineering and the mining industry. I also get to work with people that come from very diverse backgrounds which is also very important.
“Currently, I am mostly working in the Stores Area which is interesting, as we work with customers who come to collect materials from underground, while others are taking materials to the plant.
“However, as the mine enters ramps up, I will spend more time working at the plant and rotating between different parts of the operation. I’m really excited to grow and learn and see what 2021 has in store.”
He attained an Advanced Diploma in Finance from the University of Johannesburg and will start his honours degree in 2021.
Thokozani Mncube (23) is a finance intern, who started his internship at ZAC in November 2020.
He says he is enjoying entering real life work and is handling the pressure well.
ZAC Finance Manager Chris Khoza is his supervisor and Thokozani is looking forward to putting his studies to use in a work setting and learning about the intricacies of the mining sector.
“I am excited about what 2021 holds for me at ZAC”.