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MINING: Global Benchmarking Of South Africa’s Mining Innovation to Embed Innovation Into Strategy


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South Africa to pave the way for innovation in developing economies

The Chamber of Mines is supporting the global VCI Innovation State of Play assessment as part of its commitment to innovation in South African mining. This assessment started in September 2016 and will be concluded at the end of this year.

Sietse van der Woude, Chamber of Mines senior executive for modernisation, notes, “Innovation is back on the Chamber’s agenda. We have made great progress through our collaboration with stakeholders and are fully committed to innovation reshaping the industry and improving lives.”

The Chamber believes that the global benchmarking of South Africa’s mining innovation status will enable effective integration of innovation into its strategy. VCI’s report will be published in 2017 and both the Chamber and VCI are determined that the outcomes of the report will assist stakeholders in the collaboration necessary to drive mining innovation.

VCI is a management consulting organisation specialising in strategy and innovation in the mining Industry. Their people-centric approach is aligned with the Chamber’s stance on innovation. VCI explores innovation opportunities and challenges around skills development, employment relations, cost containment, safety, health and sustainability. The Chamber has made use of key findings from previous VCI reports to shape the foundation of its own innovation-focused strategy, in particular, greater alignment between its business strategy and the innovation ecosystem.

The upcoming report will be more targeted and is supported by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and other industry insiders. To assist with the global benchmarking of South Africa’s mining innovation, the Chamber has assisted VCI in facilitating ‘drill-down’ interviews with key stakeholders taking place in November. The report will include a case study on Mining Phakisa, a Presidency-lead initiative for collaboration in South African mining. It recognises Mining Phakisa as an exemplary approach to solving complex challenges through a visible and active innovation ecosystem.

Graeme Stanway, a founding partner at VCI, said: “In terms of industry collaboration in South Africa, it would be a challenge to identify a country better equipped to be a shining light for innovation in developing countries”.

The Chamber’s participation in this initiative is one of the steps being taken to ensure the longevity of the South African mining industry - unlocking resources previously inaccessible due to economic, health and safety reasons.

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