Speaking in a keynote address to the Joburg Indaba mining conference, being held online this year due to COVID-19, Cutifani said he was optimistic about the future despite uncertainties over regulation and power supply and subdued investment attractiveness.
"Sometimes, it feels like we're repeating the same script, over and over again, anxiously waiting for the change we desperately need," he said.
However he said there were some "encouraging green shoots" and there was reason to believe in the future and success of the country's mining industry.
"I believe that the next decade is going to be crucial for the mining industry and South Africa," Cutifani said.
"We can play a leading role in shaping the next 10 years by building a modern mining industry that embraces innovation and sustainability, while making the industry more inclusive, and developing equitable relationships with our host communities."
Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter agreed COVID-19 had created a significant inflection point and a catalyst to press the reset button.
"We've been engaging extensively with [mines] minister [Gwede] Mantashe, we are positive we can get mining back to 10% of GDP," he told the conference, which continues today.
Statistics South Africa said last month the mining and quarrying industry had shrunk 73.1% quarter-on-quarter in the June quarter - a period impacted by the country's COVID-19 lockdown - and had contributed 7% to the country's GDP.
Stats SA is due to release the latest mining production and sales figures next week.