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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


DUKE, V.G.. Presidential Address: Leadership, Morals, and Ethics. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2020, vol.120, n.9, pp.489-496. ISSN 2411-9717.

South Africans have experienced material change since the 1980s. The country saw the end of apartheid and the beginning of a new era under the leadership of a man who raised expectations of a Rainbow Nation and an equal society. Unfortunately, this has not since transpired. There has been a dearth of effective leadership, with daily reports of unethical behaviour in the media. Productivity is low, the economy has deteriorated, unemployment is higher than ever, and South Africans are finding themselves becoming more polarized as a society. At the same time the South African mining industry, which has the potential to be the catalyst for national economic growth, has shrunk significantly. This is partially due to both an evolving and increasingly turbulent global environment, and a result of international divestment as the legislative and socio-economic environment becomes increasingly difficult. This industry traditionally supported the activities of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM), but this has also changed. The SAIMM is now finding it difficult to retain members and as a consequence is in the process of repositioning itself around six pillars of value to arrest this decline. One of these pillars is about enhancing ethical awareness, and by extension, establishing a climate where ethical leadership can thrive, because this is now urgently needed in South Africa. This address briefly describes the challenges facing South Africa, the mining industry and the SAIMM, and how the organization is responding to remain relevant in today's rapidly changing world. Morals, ethics, and leadership are explained in support of a call for higher levels of ethical awareness, and more ethical leadership, in all areas of South African society. As professionals, SAIMM members are already committed to ethical behaviour, and accordingly, are well placed to assist in making this happen.

Keywords : ethical awareness and leadership.

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