Luthando Brukwe

Head of transformation unit, National Union of Mineworkers

For a 32-year-old in corporate South Africa, Luthando Brukwe should be an inspiration to his peers and the generation after him. Currently employed as the head of the National Union of Mineworkers’ transformation unit, he is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the Mining and Construction Charters, the implementation of social and labour plans by mining companies, compliance with department of mineral resources regulations and advising the union’s structures on present legislation.

Working in organised labour, Luthando always has to keep his focus on the needs of the working class and the policies that seek to exploit them. The mining industry in South Africa has been plagued by inequalities and oppression for decades. As a member of the Minerals and Petroleum Board at the department of mineral resources, where he is the chairperson of the Section 52 downscaling and retrenchments sub-committee, he ensures the correct implementation of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act and its objectives of ensuring the mineral resources of the Republic of South Africa belong to the South African people.

In 2007 Brukwe obtained a BA degree from the University of the Western Cape majoring in psychology and political studies. Since then he has also completed a prospecting and mining law postgraduate course at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Nelson Mandela Institute, and he is now pursuing a course in sustainable development at the same institution.

Transformation is a hot topic in South Africa, and recent statistics have shown an improvement in transforming the face of the industry, but the process has been slow, leading to much frustration, open letters and protests. Armed with a wealth of knowledge from advising mining companies on community and stakeholder engagement, transformation, local recruitment, women in mining, local economic development and preferential procurement policies, it would seem that a more inclusive mining industry is what Brukwe aims to achieve.

— Sifiso Buthelezi

Twitter: @thiido