More skilled personnel needed: Shabangu

Pretoria – The mining industry needs more skilled personnel to take the mining industry into the future, says Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu.

“These days we seek far and wide to put together the right team of South Africans who will gain and use these skills,” she said.

Speaking at a ceremony to award bursaries to first year Mining Engineering students today, Shabangu said those who were grossly excluded and suffered grievously under the past order in South Africa, will now have a real chance, through corrective action to find their just place in the scheme of things.

“We are committed to never giving up in this endeavour unless and until it can truly be said that we have finally righted the wrongs of history,” she said.

The recruitment process of first year students was conducted at the following Universities: Wits, University of Johannesburg, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban University of Technology, University of Northwest, University of Limpopo, Vaal University of Technology, University of Venda and Walter Sisulu University of Technology.

In all, 120 students were shortlisted and interviewed by the department and 60 of them met the criteria.

The successful students will be distributed among three different branches, mine health and safety (20), mineral regulation (20), and mineral policy and promotion (20).

The Department of Mineral Resources-Mining Qualification Authority (MQA) agreement stipulates that the bursary scheme be implemented from the 2011 academic year for a period of four years.

The students will be placed on an internship programme for two additional years. On completion of the internship, they will be required to serve the department for the number of years for which they have received financial assistance. – BuaNews

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