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Joburg Indaba

Joburg Indaba podcast links
Weekly English South Africa Business
38 Episodes
1 – 20

Reflections on the SA Mining Industry and the Government’s impact

On the same day that Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe lashed out at Neal Froneman of Sibanye-Stillwater for his criticism of the government, Rutherford shared some of his reflections about the SA mining industry and the government’s impact. When a critic with no other agenda calls it as he…
11 Nov 2020 1 min

Capital allocation: a lone, early voice from London

Way before capital allocation was even a thing, a visit to Rutherford’s offices in London would not be complete without a deep and often fractious debate about value creation, sustainability and of course, capital allocation. It’s no surprise that we revisit this topic in this short clip where I ask…
11 Nov 2020 2 min

Jim Rutherford: Did the poacher turn gamekeeper?

During his 15 years as a sell-side analyst, Jim Rutherford emerged as a significant force in the world of mining, including in South Africa, as part of the US-based investment firm Capital Group. Rutherford was largely responsible for the company’s global investments in the metals and mining industry. Then, seven…
11 Nov 2020 14 min

Dealing with mining’s men

So much of a leader’s role is to engage with her people. Mining makes this even more challenging due to the tough conditions, skeptical audiences and language barriers. Listen to Naidoo’s response to my question about engaging the “manne” at the coal face.
11 Nov 2020 2 min

Role of mentors

Listen to Naidoo’s insights about what she has learned about leadership from mentors like Cynthia Carroll and Tom Albanese, among others.
11 Nov 2020 2 min

Testimony of perseverance

Naidoo’s journey from her roots in Phoenix, in KwaZulu-Natal, all the way to the executive suites of the mining industry is a testimony to perseverance, deliberateness and hard work, but also the story of a humble leader who acknowledges the contribution of many others in her success. Listen to Naidoo’s…
11 Nov 2020 16 min

The daughter of Kamala

While the thought of a “liberal” American vice president may make some readers distinctly uncomfortable, VP-elect Kamala Harris has cracked, if not shattered a significant glass ceiling for women worldwide. In the days following the US election, TV stations aired stories of emotional parents sharing their daughters crying with joy…
11 Nov 2020 1 min

The last word

The last word goes to Jongisa Magagula of ARM who shares how a diversified SA-based mining company thinks about dividends.
5 Nov 2020 3 min

The big D-debate!

In the gold mining industry that I grew up in, two unquestionable truths predominated. On the one hand you had the mining company executives’ mantra of “anyone who pays dividends doesn’t understand (gold) mining”, and on the other was the mining investors’ response to dividends: “Why are you returning capital,…
5 Nov 2020 1 min

How to create capital in uncertain times

One of my favourite sessions involves former AngloGold Ashanti CEO Srinivasan “Venkat” Venkatakrishnan. Perhaps being in lockdown in London, away from his Joburg-based family, is to blame for his insight and wisdom regarding how this pandemic will impact on capital allocation in the mining industry. He highlights how the scale,…
5 Nov 2020 4 min

How South32 does it

Mike Fraser, the COO of South32, shares the miner’s approach to capital allocation. South32 has a clear framework and all capital allocation is governed by that. He addresses the disposal of the SA coal assets to Seriti, and South32’s plans for ferrochrome and their investment in new mines as part…
5 Nov 2020 5 min

Where will the growth come from?

It’s worth listening to Olivia Markham (Managing Director, Natural Resources, BlackRock) sharing her views about how the mining industry has managed to get its house in order. She talks about how the industry progressed from ill-advised capital allocation to M&A projects, to clear policies and consistent behaviour during the boom…
5 Nov 2020 4 min

Is the industry getting the balance right?

Sir Mick Davis reflects on how major mining companies need to accept the responsibility to convince investors of the need to invest enough capital to continuously replace what is being mined. He argues that the recent focus on cost has made the majors more resilient, but he is not convinced…
5 Nov 2020 10 min

The one priority to top them all

As is the norm, such an in-depth and comprehensive conversation should conclude on a more serious note. In this short clip Sir Mick shares his view regarding the one priority that the South African mining industry needs to get right.
28 Oct 2020 1 min

Taking the Mick(ey) out of Sir Mick!

Sir Mick Davis is a hard-nosed businessman who served as the CEO of the Conservative Party in the UK for some time. So he takes insults, banter, sarcasm and jokes all in his stride. Listen to why I described him (to his face of course) as “at least being a…
28 Oct 2020 1 min

To merge, or not to merge? Who better to ask than Sir Mick Davis!

In this clip Sir Mick shares some of his learnings with regards to megamergers. He reflects on how difficult it is to get shareholder support for such mergers and how politicians leverage antitrust issues to extract benefits and strategic advantages for their countries. But he is most critical, by far,…
28 Oct 2020 2 min

Too much hype around hydrogen?

As it generally happens so often with new technologies, we tend to overestimate their impact in the short term, but almost always underestimate their long term impact. Davis believes that there are many technical hurdles, such as storage to overcome, but still clearly believes that South Africa should position itself…
28 Oct 2020 1 min

It does not need to take decades to fix Eskom

Sir Mick argues that unlike the skills and healthcare challenges facing South Africa which may require decades to fix, Eskom’s problems are comparatively easier. He expands on his views, which are incisive as well as relevant due to his recent role on one of the many task teams created to…
28 Oct 2020 1 min

Despite having seen beneficiation from up close, Mick is not a believer

Davis shares the obvious point that without a significant local market, South Africa’s obsession with beneficiation is misdirected and does not create value. Instead, he argues that mining companies should focus their attention on increasing efficiencies in mining and logistics, thereby ensuring that they are cost-effective suppliers to international customers…
28 Oct 2020 3 min

Getting to know Sir Mick Davis

Everyone in the mining industry knows Sir Mick Davis. His amazing career took him from his position as CFO of Eskom, to become Brian Gilbertson’s right hand man during the Gencor/ Billiton days and then culminated at Xstrata, where he really made his mark. And yet, according to Sir Mick,…
28 Oct 2020 36 min
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