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28 March 2023

Experienced mining practitioner, Collin Ramukhubathi, has been appointed as the new chairman of surface mining industry association ASPASA.

With over two decades of experience in the mining industry, Ramukhubathi has served in various leadership positions in the private sector. He began his career as a mechanical technician at Basil Read in Botswana, where he laid the groundwork of his technical knowledge and vast experience of mining construction materials.

Later, he worked for Afrisam in Gauteng and Ladysmith, then move to Cape Town to join Portland quarry in 2006 before joining JSE-listed, mid-tier mining company Afrimat in 2009 as Area manager of the Western Cape business.

Ramukhubathi has built a respectable reputation in Afrimat during the course of the past 14 years, and currently holds the position of Executive Director overseeing the departments of People Management and Sustainability respectively.

Solid foundation

Taking on the role of ASPASA Chairman, Ramukhubathi believes that there is strength in unity and collaboration, particularly among small mines. He sees the need for ASPASA to play a significant role in helping mines meet best practices and comply with regulations – especially with junior mines.

“ASPASA’s established audits are regarded highly by the industry and are regarded almost as highly as legal regulations in the country. This gives credibility to the organization when the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) visits their sites. As a result, we want to build on the foundation that ASPASA has already established and work more closely with related organisations to avoid duplicating their efforts.

“Right now, our priority is to engage in the industry and demonstrate the strength of ASPASA’s work to our members and prospective members. The organization has a significant opportunity to help the industry and we want to extend our focus on community involvement, and other stakeholders and work closely in this regard with the Minerals Council South Africa (Mincosa) and other external stakeholders.

“We also want to take advantage of our relationship with the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) to promote the use of commercial quality aggregates rather than borrow pits next to existing mines. That is why large quarries as well as small mines should get involved in the process. It is also why ASPASA has played an instrumental role in the establishment of junior miners’ seats on Mincosa to help stakeholders understand the challenges of smaller mines and the importance of championing their cause at the highest level,” says Ramukhubathi.

Facing the future

He recommends that industry-wide solutions be found for some of the largest challenges facing the sector, such as load shedding and delays in infrastructure spending, which need to be fast-tracked. He also mentions the backlog of low-cost housing, Transnet rail infrastructure, community unhappiness with service delivery, crime, and business forums as his main concerns.

He believes that by collaborating and becoming part of the solution, ASPASA can use its expertise to identify and engage in practical ways to find solutions to these challenges. As the new chairman, Ramukhubathi is excited to work with the management committee team and build on what they have achieved so far. He is grateful to be surrounded by the industry giants and experience the management committee has. 

Ramukhubathi is looking forward to collaborating with members, including those representing smaller mines who are represented on the board. All will learn from each other’s experience, strengths and weaknesses to make ASPASA more effective.

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