Modernisation is the process of transition and transformation of the minerals sector to make it more sustainable; the process involves mechanisation, automation, innovation and change. Resistance to change is a human attribute that affects factors such as the adoption of new technology and changes in organisational structures and processes. The mining value chain will be affected by modernisation, as jobs and skills will change and new opportunities will emerge.
The objective of this project is to understand the process of modernising the minerals sector in South Africa.
Research and development
The team conducted literature reviews on texts exploring modernisation, resistance to change and the boundaries of the mining value chain; they compiled and read relevant local and international literature. The team also drafted report templates and literature reviews, and reviewed the final reports.
Resistance to change affects the modernisation process. The successful implementation of any change requires buy-in from all interested and affected parties. Methods that can be used to manage change include education, effective communication, participation and involvement, facilitation and support, negotiation and agreement, manipulation and co-optation, and implicit and explicit coercion. Management support is vital.
Modernisation has the potential to improve skills development, enhance innovation, encourage manufacturing, reduce job losses, improve productivity and create new jobs in downstream and side-stream industries. Modernisation could help to address challenges faced by the South African minerals industry and extend the life of mines. It will involve changes to processes, technologies, skill sets, and social and environmental impacts. Modernisation needs to be addressed using a holistic, people-centred systems approach. It will require change management, culture transformation, leadership, re-skilling and training, work planning and operations, and relationships with supporting industries and stakeholders.
This research was commissioned to the CSIR. Researchers involved include Jodi Pelders, Sophi Letsoalo and Sibusiso Ngobese.