WELL DONE everyone for surviving 2016! It was one very busy year for the Western Bushveld mines, with everyone in the Rock Engineering Departments just trying to stay afloat – but we all managed to scrape though still intact.

SANIRE still remains very active in this region. At the Western Bushveld Branch meeting for 2016, a new committee and chairperson were elected. This truly was a challenge, as the previous chairperson, Naomi Ayres, had left big shoes to fill!

Over 2016, the branch went from strength to strength. Our aim was to increase the SCO level base, as they are essentially the future of the branch. The progress has been slow, but there has definitely been progress.

We have had numerous interesting guest speakers in the meetings which we held. These ranged from Tony Guthrie (former CEO of De Beers, Canada), Prof Dick Stacey, Peter Terbrugge (SRK Principal Rock Engineer), and Friedemann Essrich, just to name a few. Each speaker was asked to present a topic from his or her own experience, which is different from the Platinum and Chrome environment that we on the western limb are very familiar with. From the feedback we received, the speakers were thoroughly enjoyed and got many people thinking and asking questions.

To make sure we ended the branches’ successful 2016 with a bang, we held our year-end function at the Mooinooi golf course. Every year, we like to make sure the non-golfers are taken care of – mountain biking, safe archery, bull riding and soccer were included in the day’s activities, as well as four-ball golf. As usual, everyone just let loose, relaxed and had a good time to close a very hectic 2016 for the RE Departments!

Generous contributions of dog food as an “entrance fee” to the year-end function resulted in a large amount of dog food being donated to various needy animal organisations via Santa Clause for Paws.

In 2017, we still aim to increase our SCO base, take full advantage of networking, and have many more interesting speakers as well as new REs/SCOs to present the projects they are working on. So, on behalf of the Western Bushveld Branch, I would like to wish everyone a prosperous and successful new year!

Carol Hunter

Chairperson - SANIRE Western Bushveld Branch