By: Zandile Majavu
Africa at Datamine is determined to be a game changer in the mining sector by providing a specialised technology suite to both large corporations and SMEs that ensures accessible records of B-BBEE environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG). Africa at Datamine executive manager Dr Benny Chisonga, who attended the Mining Indaba in Cape Town, said the software company was interested in one of the central themes at the conference of ‘embracing the power of positive disruption”.
He told Vutivi News that Africa at Datamine’s approach was beyond just advising when it came to SMEs. “We provide them with software and technology to capture that data. SMMEs, just like the major mining companies, want to report on social governance issues and how many black people they are employing to include in their annual reports,” Chisonga said. He explained that in the past, companies used to share the B-BBEE points achieved in the previous year, but with Africa at Datamine ’s software, there was an opportunity to look forward. “To say that this is what we are targeting, and the data is in the system, hence it is easy to report on it, and in addition, that it is auditable and accurate,” he further said.
Chisonga emphasised that there was usually a misconception when people referred to data mining. The difference was that in data mining, people were not mining for data but instead for analytics and intelligence. “In the past, we just focused on geology and engineering, but by using mergers and acquisitions as well as our own organic growth, we have created a suite of software companies that focus on ESG, things like how much they are emitting to the environment, diesel, and how they are affecting the water quality, to help SMMEs benchmark and be able to retrieve the data from last year and have both a backward and forward view,” Chisonga said.
He said that while in the past most of their clients were big companies, they found that most of the SMEs ended up evolving into large corporations through their software indicators. “In mining, we do not call them SMMEs; we call them juniors who graduate to become majors eventually. Now our strength with our application is the provision of technology tasks that allow the SMMEs to find and then extract the mineral resources,” Chisonga added. He further elaborated that the storage became helpful when the SME moved to partner with or sell its assets because it was backed up by data from a trusted source in the mining industry.