The new normal

The MRA team connecting in a virtual reality

We’re bringing our lessons learnt into the future. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t believe when I wrote the editor’s comment for my last edition (April) from the confines of my lockdown home, that I would be hitting the repeat button for the May edition.

But here I am, an entire edition later, still sitting in my made-up office at home, contemplating what our new world will look like when lockdown is truly over. For South Africa, that won’t be for a while still. On the eve of four weeks (of a five week scheduled lockdown), our president, Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation about the next steps to be taken to continue limiting the number of infections in the country.

The result: We will move out of lockdown in a slow and phased approach – moving from Level 5 to Level 4, after which we must steadily make our way to Level 1. As I sit here, I don’t know exactly what changes will occur between levels or more importantly, how long each level will last. But, at least we have made the first step towards recovery as the South African economy has taken a particularly hard knock – still reeling from the fact that Moody’s recently downgraded us to junk status.

On the plus side, open cast mining is back in business – 100%, while underground mining is allowed to ramp up to 50%, and must stay that way until we move into Level 2. I hope that the downstream impact on our supply sector will be quick and painless as new business picks up.

For myself personally, I’m looking forward to restarting my exercise regime; something I’ve missed most of all, that and sushi of course, although it will be a long time I’m sure before that craving is satisfied.

I want to take this opportunity however to congratulate our industry. You have been resilient, strong and taken the necessary drastic steps to protect your businesses and employees. It’s good to recognise that safety is always your top priority – across all spectrums of the business, and that extends to home life.

For those who have donated portions of their salaries or bonus structures to the country’s Solidarity Relief Fund, we are proud to call you leaders of our sector.

No matter how the next few months/ year pans out, Mining Review Africa remains here to support you and will do all we can to help rebuild your business and rebuild your name in this new world so that you can return to normal – albeit a new normal, but a normal nonetheless.

My team walk away having learnt some vital new tools – how to operate successfully in a virtual world reality – which I believe can only benefit ourselves and our clients moving forward.