SOUTH Africa’s sole producer of prime anthracite, Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC), has appointed Siyabonga Mathonsi as its general manager.
Menar, a mining investment company which acquired ZAC from Rio Tinto in 2016, announced Mathonsi’s appointment, effective from 15 July.
Menar’s Managing Director Vuslat Bayoglu said Mathonsi is a hardworking professional who worked himself up the mine’s management ladder. ‘The appointment is a clear demonstration that with adequate training and experience, substantive transformation is achievable.
‘Menar is committed to ensuring that all employees of its subsidiary companies, regardless of their background, realise their potential,’ said Bayoglu.
Following a smooth handover period, Bradley Hammond, the outgoing general manager, will take over a new role as group chief operating officer at Menar.
Mathonsi’s career at ZAC began in 2008 when he served as an engineer-intraining.
His commitment to his work saw him rise through the ranks and in 2010 he was promoted to junior engineer.
In 2015 he was appointed as a section engineer, after which he became engineering manager a year later.
Bayoglu said Mathonsi has played an important role in the turnaround of the mine while serving as second-incommand to Hammond.
‘They worked as a team. Siyabonga is a team player with excellent human relations skills. We look forward to seeing him and the team drive the extension of the life of the mine beyond the projected 12 years.’
Mathonsi is looking forward to his new challenge and undertakes to lead by example.
‘I believe it is important to show strong leadership through leading by example.
‘I am truly humbled to have been appointed as general manager at ZAC, and thank the company’s management team for believing in and supporting me throughout this journey,’ said Mathonsi.
Mathonsi hopes to build on the strong base that has been established to ensure that ZAC achieves optimal efficiency, including building strong ties with workers and the host communities.
The health and safety of workers will be another priority area.
Located in the Ulundi district, ZAC has six underground sections and produces one million tons of anthracite per annum.
The product is sold to domestic and export markets. Until Menar acquired ZAC in
2016, the mine was at different stages owned by BHP Billiton (from 1985), Riversdale Mining (from 2005) and Rio Tinto (from 2011).
The mine currently employs 1 444 people, including contractors and subscribes to the Youth Employment Service, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s job creation initiative for young people. At least 30 young people are currently enrolled in the programme at ZAC.
‘I have had the privilege of working closely with Siyabonga for several years.
‘He is respected by management and mine workers alike, making him the ideal person for the position of general manager,’ said Hammond.
‘I wish him much success in his new role and I have no doubt he will play a critical role in the growth of ZAC, which is extremely important for the future of the mine to provide jobs and play a crucial role in community development.’