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I have spent the past few days in awe reading about the talented South Africans that have made it onto the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans list for 2020.

I had no doubt in my mind that I’d see the names of the next-generation of young, talented individuals already making waves in the South African mining industry, but I was completely blown away by just how many were on the list.

There are some individuals more closely linked to the mining industry but I spotted others with innovative ideas and technologies that could assist the mining industry along the path towards Industry 4.0.

The Fourth Industrial revolution is poised to change the mining industry as we know it, and in many cases, for mines to be profitable in future, they have to embrace 4IR.

Below are just some of the names of the talented individuals who have already carved a name for themselves in the industry.

Mondli Magagula, 30

Principal geologist and geotechnical engineer | Exxaro Resources

Magagula is part of a new generation of black professionals in the mining industry. He is the youngest head of department in the history of Exxaro Resources – one of South Africa’s largest black-empowered resource companies.

Cliffton Masedi, 33

Postdoctoral research fellow | University of Limpopo – Materials Modelling Centre

When prompted about the future, Masedi says energy storage will be more important than ever. “The issues of load shedding, the discovery of electric vehicles and the latest technological developments require new and powerful batteries in the future,” he explains, as he tries to imagine new applications for energy. 

Siwela Jeffrey Baloyi, 31

Science researcher | Mintek

Baloyi wants to help eliminate fuel emissions and make sure that all South Africans have access to safe and clean water through his research. South Africa is moving towards generating and storing zero-emission fuel such as hydrogen, which can ultimately lead to enormous environmental and social benefits and encourage better international economic competitiveness, as per Baloyi’s vision.

Olebogeng Sentsho, 33

Chief Executive Office | Simba Mgodi Mining Incubation Fund

Sentsho is a mining and energy entrepreneur who is passionate about the potential of the mining industry to drive growth and development in South Africa. “By harnessing the power of mining as an economic catalyst, we can change the economic trajectory of South Africa and enable our nation to thrive through industrialisation and manufacturing,” she says.

Tim Mitchell, 28

Digital and innovation chief of staff | Deloitte Africa

By harnessing the digital landscape, young South Africans have a platform to not only greatly accelerate their own development, but also make significant contributions to society at large.

Katlego Letsoalo, 30

Monitoring and evaluation specialist | Minerals Council South Africa

Letsoalo hopes to use his experience to help people to realise the true meaning of shared value and responsible mining, as well as offering mining communities and young people the skills development they need.

Until next time!

Chantelle Kotze