Raising Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

As a campus ministry team our intention and passion is (through the various programs and leadership platforms we provide) to raise our future leaders today. Our partnership with LIT has been a great success in our campus ministry with many of our final year students forming part of the mentorship program offered – we would like to share the story and achievements of our 2014 His People society committee members and some of our other student leaders.

One of those students is the chairman of our student society for the 2014 year, Oregopotse Magano (shown extreme left), who had the opportunity to be one of the speakers at the recent Mining Indaba that took place in Johannesburg. Ore, as he is best known, is a 3rd year Electrical Engineering student at Wits and has been part of our LIT mentorship program through which he showed initiative and promise as a thought leader.

On the topic: “The Future of Mining: Through The Eyes of The Next Generation”, Ore shared:

 

“For human kind to walk more lightly on the earth – and to achieve the kind of poverty reduction that is needed across the world, we need more efficient services but regardless of that efficiency – at the heart of them – are the metals and minerals that are mined”  – Dr. R. Anthony Hodge

 

I am aware this afternoon that I am addressing myself to a group of mining giants who are well informed about the industry and are influential in the industry I do not take this lightly.

 

When one says we have a bright future, one is actually saying the present is about hard work.  As we look at the future as partners, we need to learn from the past; including the conflict and the violence we have seen this past year, it should not be that today a black mine worker still sees the need to partake in violent strikes because of unpleasant living conditions not when the mining industry spans over 150 years. Undoubtedly Mining is at the heart of the South African economy. It has a critical role to play in supporting the aspiration of the new growth path and the objective of the national development plan. And it is an industry with long term horizons. Mining is a long term investment

 

Africa desperately needs to know its Craft, Own its Craft, Build its Craft and Generate Wealth from its craft:

If anything it is through mining in Africa that Africa’s scarcity will be alleviated.

 

The mining industry is the back bone of many industries with their supply of raw materials and it is unfortunate that few African countries actually get to process these raw materials. We need to start developing the resources that are mined here and mining companies need to be instrumental in facilitating that process and investing in it.

 

I am glad I am studying electrical engineering because it will allow me the platform to contribute to the process of developing and advancing technology in the mining sector. Be involved in the design control systems that will enable the automation of mines and the advancement of robotics in the mines essentially creating “smart mines”.  We need to make a permanent transition to mechanisation and in the near future – automation. This obviously poses a threat of job loss which can be solved by ensuring that Africans are the ones facilitating the transition by designing and building these automated machines on our soil, this will allow us to migrate from the hard manual underground mining labour and create more industrial labour.  It is important for the mining faculty to create a platform of entrepreneurial mining innovation with regards to technology.  The mining industry should also encourage trade within the African continent where money circulates at least 5 times before leaving Africa.

 

As a soon to be graduate I want the assurance that I will be entering into an industry where cutting edge technology is at the forefront of the agenda, where my skills will be sharpened and trusted – where I will not only be entrusted with maintaining old systems but really engaging new technology and implementing new technology.

 

A leader is considered to be great once his followers become greater leaders than he, if the mining industry should look dire ten years from now it would be a bad reflection on the current stake holders, their success is when we succeed more than them. It is critical for the current stakeholders to invest in the future stake holders today.

 

Mining should not be limited to just  the activity on African soil but it should be a  springboard launching forward the current generation and propelling them to start generating wealth that will impact  generations to come and solve many of Africa’s problems. We need to get to a point where we bridge the gap between Africa’s resource wealth and the wealth of Africans.  The raw materials such as coal, platinum, iron ore that are mined impact the energy and transportation industry, construction industry, steel and manufacturing industry. These are industries that should be flourishing and generating wealth for Africa.

 

We cannot ignore the great contribution and investments made by the different mining companies but I believe  the measure of a successful mining industry is seen in the success and transformation of the communities and societies it lends from when: there is adequate clean water supply, decent electricity connections, world class infrastructure, effective health care system, great learning academies, innovation hubs that encourage and support entrepreneurship, skills development centres, mining engineers and professionals from the community working and owning shares  in the mines because the greatest insurance policy in the mining business is the community trust.

 

Ten years from now I see the mining industry doing more than just mining but essentially being the backbone and umbrella of Africa’s economical activities and bolstering the different local industrial spheres. Funding and investing in cutting edge technology that will be designed and manufactured in Africa and developing further the mineral resources here in Africa. I also see transformation in the workplace where we’ll follow suite what is being done in the corporate world where the belt on hierarchy is loosened and a sense of belonging and being a part of the mining company is instilled in every worker.

 

“Each generation should seek to find its objectives and either fulfil it or betray it” a take on the quote by the late Frank Fanon. The war my parents fought was for injustice, mine today is to ensure that I contribute to the transformation of Africa in general and South Africa in particular.

 

We are so proud to have young leaders like Ore in our midst who some day will make a difference in transforming our society.

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