Stand up, team up and reach out — Exxaro Grootegeluk summit

LEPHALALE — Exxaro Grootegeluk Mine presented a Safety, Health and Environment Summit at Mogol Club on Friday 12 April. Business Unit Managers, Senior Managers as well as Exxaro employees from all over South Africa attended the event with Mampai Motsau as programme director.

Industrial Theatre had the audience on their feet

Mr Wayne Mulligan, Head of Safety at Grootegeluk, started with a safety briefing after which Dr Nombasa Tsengwa, Executive Head Coal, asked for a moment of silence for the fallen heroes – men and women who died as a result of fatal incidents in mines.

She said Exxaro Grootegeluk Mine’s performance shows that zero harm is possible and it can be sustained.

“On 2 March 2019 we celebrated two years without any loss of life in our organisation and our performance on lost time injuries rates and fatalities is one of the best in the industry,” she said.
She furthermore said the 2019 safety focus areas will be on enhancing risk awareness, safety leadership, maturing the safety culture and pro-active intervention. “Our health performance shows that it is possible to have healthy employees. “Our reportable national diseases prevalence rate is lower than that of national,” she stated.

The welcoming message was delivered by Mxolisi Mgojo, Chief Executive Officer: Exxaro Resources Ltd, who explained more about the water efficiency performance – “our water efficiency performance continues to be below legislative targets and industry performance. The water efficiency performance focus on water leaks and water purification,” he said. He touched the subject of mine closure and rehabilitation and to design and operate the mines with closure in mind.

Ronaldt Mafako, newly appointed General Manager: Grootegeluk Mine, was introduced to the attendees and Rico van Staden, Manager Mining Operations Grootegeluk Mine, gave a presentation about the last ten years’ performance at Grootegeluk and said that there was a 74% increase in Ex-pit tonnes over the last ten years. He discussed the “incredible journey of Grootegeluk Mine”.

Ms Lorraine Jenks, introduced as climate expert with more than 45 years’ experience in environmental activism; an African climate reality leader; sustainability facilitator; green procurement consultant; ethical food activist; leader in motivating better practices in both corporate and private sectors; and qualified to speak knowledgeably and practically about environmental awareness going green, climate change and environmental ethics, addressed the “greening of Exxaro coal”.

Dr Johan Tibane, motivational speaker and health expert, shared the message “stand up, team up and reach out to be a healthy organisation”.

After a message of support from various labour organisations, Mr Peet Snyders, Chairperson of the SRG, shared a few words of encouragement from the Sustainability Risk and Compliance Committee of the Board.

According to Dr Tsengwa, the idea for the summit came in 2008 when they realised that there needs to be a totally different demonstration of commitment from the top. “We were experiencing a lot of incidents at that time and the issue of leadership and of how leadership drives safety, became one of our key priorities at the time,” she said.

“If the CEO is deemed to be the Chief Safety Officer in the organisation, there must be a day in the organisation where the CEO puts together items that he wants to address around his own commitment on safety and sustainability issues. “That is really where this whole idea came from and I must say it has been extremely successful and being a platform of awareness and sharing, leadership commitment, demonstration of that which we can do better as well as that which we do better and also using this platform to monitor our own performance in safety issues and sustainability.

“We are a mining company after all and our stewardship in this area is because we have people that work at our mines and we must make sure that those people go home safely. “For them to be productive, they must be safe. We must provide that environment collectively. Their health is important as it leads to productivity and a sustainable workforce and it ensures that we preserve the environment for ourselves as an extractive industry and also for the future generations,” she concluded.   

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