SABC News - Women in mining struggle, thrive against the odds:Wednesday 9 August 2017

Women in mining struggle, thrive against the odds

Wednesday 9 August 2017 13:08

S'khangiwe Mthiyane

Chairperson of the Women in Mining South Africa says she’s passionate about encouraging young women to enter the mining sector. (SABC)

The mining sector in South Africa is a male dominated industry, leaving very little room for women to get in and thrive.

However, this mould is breaking as the country is seeing more women enter this field.  

As we celebrate Women’s Month, we look at the progress and challenges these women in this sector encounter.

The Women in Mining South Africa (WiMSA) is a networking platform and support group for women in the industry that mentors and offers them assistance.

Chairperson of the WIMSA, Lindi Nakedi says women face various challenges in the industry such as discrimination by male counterparts, their safety inside the mine shafts, social issues and being made to feel as if they can’t do certain jobs because they are women.

Government, universities and organizations are fast tracking initiatives to encourage young females in schools and tertiary levels to enter the mining field.

This is being done with the aim of helping women to claim their piece of the multi-billion rand sector.

Nakedi says although government is assisting them, more can be done to teach young women about the mining and the different career opportunities involved.  

(Source: Chamber of Mines South Africa)

Women in mining now make up over 13% in the industry.

Nakedi says although women are making great strides in mining, they could have a bigger role to play and achieve more if given the same advantages as their male counterparts.

Juila Mosola heads the Women In Mining of the University of Johannesburg. She believes one of the many reasons why they aren't a lot of women in mining is because of the hostility they are faced with.

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