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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 2225-6253


MANGAROO-PILLAY, S.  and  BOTHA, D.. An exploration of women's workplace experiences in the South African mining industry. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2020, vol.120, n.8, pp.475-483. ISSN 2411-9717.

Historically, the mining industry, on a global level, was male-dominated, as many governments had prohibited women from working at mines, particularly underground. In South Africa, the government introduced the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (No. 28 of 2002) (MPRDA) and the Broad-based Socio-economic Empowerment Charter to address the imbalances and rectify previous inequalities in the mining industry. Since the inception of MPRDA, women's representation in the South African mining industry has increased, from 3% in 2002 to 15% in 2018. Although government has good intentions, gender equality in the mining industry remains a challenge. Research on women employed in South African mines revealed that women still face barriers to some extent. This research explores women's current workplace experiences in the South African mining industry. A literature review and an empirical study were conducted. The study followed a positivistic research approach, and a quantitative research design was used. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed at the 8th Annual Women in Mining Conference in February 2017. Based on the data obtained, it became evident that several aspects must still be addressed to successfully accommodate women in the mining workplace. The study offers practical recommendations that can be implemented by mining organizations to improve women's workplace experiences in order to encourage and foster transformation in the mining industry.

Keywords : gender; mining industry; mining legislation; South Africa; women in mining.

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