In February 2012, the body of Pinky Mosiane was found underground at Anglo American Platinum’s Khomanani mine. She had been raped and left to die in her own pool of blood. It took almost three years to bring her killer to book.
Her death sent shockwaves around industry, which until that point, was seemingly turning a blind eye to women’s safety, exposing the blatant sexism that existed.
At the time, then Chamber of Mines (now Minerals Council South Africa) spokesman Jabu Maphalala said, “Safety in the mines is an issue, but the chamber deals with safety issues such as rock falls, dust and noise and does not deal with gender-specific safety issues.”
In fact, the chamber did not even have records on the number of women miners in South Africa.
Fast-track seven years and Mosiane’s death has not been in vain.
Today, significant strides have been made by government, industry bodies and companies to create a safer and more equitable environment for women.
More importantly, it is progressively creating an environment for women to excel in all spheres of this male-dominated industry.
This month, Mining Review Africa pays tribute to several courageous women who have had a tangible impact on mining in Africa.
And to all the women in mining, we salute you.
Until next time.