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SA miners recognise heroes

South Africa’s peak mining lobby group has announced 10 women in mining COVID-19 heroes, as part of its drive to shine a light on work done by women in the country’s mining industry.
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South Africa’s 10 women in mining COVID-19 heroes

Staff reporter

The women were chosen from 77 nominations from 24 member companies and announced by the Minerals Council South Africa Women in Mining leadership forum.

South32's Hillside Aluminium communication specialist Gaynor Kast, who is known as "the fixer" by her colleagues, was among the 10 for her efforts to ensure learners could keep up with their schoolwork during lockdown.

Sister Khosi Kubheka, an occupational health nurse at Seriti Coal's New Denmark, was recognised for her positive outlook and work to address the spread of COVID-19.

"When Sister Khosi herself tested positive for COVID-19, she continued working - giving direction and support to others, providing daily updates and statistics to management and relevant authorities, and continuing to contact people who had tested positive," the council said.

Fellow hero Dr Duduzile Sibeko, Sibanye-Stillwater's gold division health unit manager, was also recognised for working tirelessly and had similarly tested positive.

"Having been a COVID-19 survivor, it's an experience I would not wish on anyone therefore let us ensure that we take all the necessary precautions to prevent the second wave," she said.

The other heroes were AngloGold Ashanti's VP health group sustainability Dr Bafedile Chauke-Moagi, Impala Platinum's group executive people Lee-Ann Samuel, Petra Diamonds Fisch mine occupational medical practitioner Dr Mpho Moloi, Anglo American Coal's safety and sustainable development reporting coordinator Nadine Jacobs, Anglo American Coal Highveld Hospital's medical service manager Dr Thulisile Ngwenya, Harmony Gold Mining's health executive Dr Tumi Legobye and South32's HSE operations manager Yogen Chetty.

"While we know that there have been many men working tirelessly during the pandemic, and recognise their commitment and efforts, the focus of the Women in Mining Task Team is to recognise the unsung heroes of the mining industry - those whose work and efforts so often happen anonymously, and who go unacknowledged," leadership forum chair Nolitha Fakude said.

The council is also supporting the country's "16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children", launched last week.