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This week marked the start of the African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, an illustrious annual event that brings together industry leaders and key stakeholders from around the world in the mining industry. Coincidentally, the Mining Indaba is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year as South Africa commemorates three decades since the advent of democracy.

The mining industry has gone through significant change over the past three decades. At the conference's ceremonial opening, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed relevant issues and offered a reflection on the industry's revolutionary journey. "...we outlined four objectives to foster the sector's development, enhance its global competitiveness, and align with the global pursuit of sustainable development", the President noted in his speech. He pointed out that the core of these goals is the pursuit of sustainable development. I was particularly pleased when the President referred to “sustainable development”, which I believe requires that we are more intentional about advancing the needs and welfare of workers and putting workers at the centre of our conversations about the sustainability of the mining sector.

The mining industry is constantly evolving, and while innovation and new technologies are welcomed, it's important to remember that the workers who serve as the industry's backbone are the primary stakeholders in the value chain. Even with the bright lights of improved productivity and technology, prioritising the health, safety, welfare, and sustainability of the labour force is integral to the premise of our conversations about the future of the mining industry.

The mining industry has seen radical changes in recent years characterised by previously unheard-of technological advancements and environmentally friendly methods. As we celebrate these achievements, it is also critical to advance the welfare of workers, who are the lifeblood of the mining industry.

Rand Mutual Assurance (RMA) has been taking care of workers and their families in the mining sector since 1894. We believe that these workers are the heartbeat of our economy. We work intently with employers and other stakeholders in the mining industry to enable the dreams of workers, empower them, and restore their dignity both at work and beyond – at home and in their communities.

Our top priority is to partner with all stakeholders to take coordinated action to reduce the continuing hazard of workplace injuries and fatalities in mining communities. Claims submitted to RMA for fatalities in mining amounted to 189 in 2021, 70 in 2022, and 99 in 2023. There have already been four fatal claims reported in the first few days of 2024. These numbers require our quick response. We are committed to take proactive steps in partnership with our stakeholders to reduce these figures.

The RMA delegation is attending this year's Mining Indaba specifically to contribute to important conversations and plans of action focused on resolving this pressing issue. Increasing safety standards is not only the right thing to do but also a calculated step in the direction of sustainable development. It is imperative that we, as an industry, endeavour to establish a secure and encouraging work environment to safeguard the well-being of our employees.

RMA exemplifies a steadfast commitment to enhancing the well-being of the mining industry. We recognise the profound impact that an organization's capacity to uphold the health, safety, and job satisfaction of its workforce has on its overall success. As a trusted social insurer, we provide our clients with cost-effective insurance solutions consistent with our ethos of compassionate and caring compensation, and delivering a comprehensive and value-added product that consistently positions us as a leader in the market. Furthermore, our strategic alliances with healthcare providers ensure the delivery of high-quality medical care, further enhancing our commitment to excellence.

Our belief at RMA is that workers in the mining industry are partners in the drive to achieve sustainable development. To achieve this goal, we are committed to create opportunities for skills development, give priority to the needs of workers, and invest in their well-being in order to create a sustainable future for the workforce and the industry.

As we look ahead to the next three decades of collaborative partnerships in the mining industry, RMA will continue to pioneer solutions that secure a successful and equitable future for all as we embrace innovation and achieve sustainable development in our sector.

Media enquiries:

Gopolang Peme, Communications Manager, Rand Mutual Assurance
Mobile: 061 499 3918

Dieketseng Modukanele, Communications Assistant, Rand Mutual Assurance
Mobile: 071 723 6167

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