This year is SACEA 42nd anniversary. This is indeed a huge milestone for the Association and something we all can be very proud, to be part of an Association that has added so much value to the Coal Mining Sector. The commitment and dedication SACEA members have demonstrated over the past 42 years has reminded us of the huge role the Association has played, in making the Coal Mining sector a safer, more cost efficient and productive Industry.
If we look back on 2020 and 2021 so far, we will all agree that it has been a challenging year that has changed our working and personal life forever due to COVID-19. The way we needed to adapt to comply with all COVID-19 protocols, required the Association to be dynamic to ensure we place ourselves in a position to continue with the good work of the past. Through the leadership of the previous President Annette Small we indeed persevered to complete all our actions as planned for the year. The increased number of people that attended these sessions through the different electronic media is just proof of the prodigious success SACEA has achieved in adapting to alternative methods of sharing communication. This year will be no different and we will continue where we have ended in 2020. For the first time in the history of the Association we had a virtual meeting for the AGM on the 11th February 2021 and for our Strategic session on the 27 February 2021. I am sure we all hope that restrictions will be lifted towards the second half of the year in such a manner that we can all meet in the traditional manner again. The successful rollout of vaccines will be key.
SACEA will need to continue by sharing Leading practices and with the correct leadership style that starts from the Top structures. Therefore, SACEA commits to play a big part in the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the South African Mining industry in support of our quest to achieve ZERO Harm. South Africa along with most parts of Africa, did not actively participate in either the First Industrial Revolution (steam power) or the Second Industrial Revolution (electrical power). This left us 60 years behind the developed world. The continent was also unable to fully participate in the Third Industrial Revolution (electric automation), which put us back a further 20 years.
The President of South Africa and the Minister of Mineral Resources are in support of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Digitization and the Internet of Things – IoT), and South Africa needs to participate in it as early as possible to enjoy its benefits rather than becoming end users of systems already created. Therefore, this is also part of our Strategy and we commit to continue where we left in 2020.
If we look back at the Safety record for the Mining Industry year to date, we are currently standing at 8 fatalities versus the 8 for last year YTD. The Coal Industry had no fatality so far versus 1 last year YTD. Last year the Mining Industry ended with 58 fatalities vs the 51 in 2019. 2019 will be remembered as the best year the Mining Industry ever experienced. The coal industry however digressed by recording 10 fatalities vs the 6 in 2019. FOG and TMM related fatalities were again the biggest contributor. This being the reason why the DMR will focus very high on Traffic Management Plans to be in place on all mines during this year. The MOSH guideline for underground TMP will shortly be rolled out to the Industry. Let us take the lead and ensure that we as SACEA can add value in this regard.
Our Income and cost management of the Association will require a lot of attention and management this year to ensure we set ourselves up for success. It will be important to look at alternative methods to generate income as most of our sessions will still be on line. Great ideas were brought up on the Strategic session and we need to ensure we pursue with these ideas.
At the current moment we still not sure if we will have a Presidential Function or not for this year. If the pandemic allows us to have a Presidential function it will be planned for the weekend of 16 to 19 September 2021. This is normally the highlight of the year and it will be wonderful for all of us to get together again.
Lastly, I want to say thank you to everyone that was able to attend the Strategic session. The participation was good and we have managed to achieve a lot in a short time. SACEA strategic objectives are achieved through the implementation of strategic action by portfolios assigned to respective Council Members. Plans are currently being conducted by individual champions and has been signed off in the month of March 2021. We are very blessed to have a lot of skills, experience and Past Presidents on Council which give me a very warm feeling that we will succeed in our goal this year to ensure we stay a Professional, Dynamic and Value adding Association. An Association we all love so much.
SACEA President 2021