Sephiwe Plaatjie has become Impala Rustenburg’s first female Rock Drill Operator (RDO) to operate hydropower equipment, marking a significant achievement at the mine. Plaatjie's journey has been marked by resilience, commitment and a determination to breaking barriers.
The rock drilling environment, known for being a traditionally male-dominated field, posed hurdles that she was determined to overcome. Recognising the need to excel, Plaatjie undertook the challenge head-on, pushing herself twice as hard and committing to learning as much as she could about the equipment and operations.
Plaatjie says, “I am thrilled to be the first woman RDO operating hydropower equipment at Impala Rustenburg. It has not been easy, but we are making notable strides towards gender equality in the mining industry. I chose this career path to challenge the misconception that certain roles are reserved for a specific gender. Machinery and technology have evolved, and women can excel in these roles just as much as men.”
Plaatjie’s aspirations reach beyond this remarkable achievement. She dreams of becoming a mine manager one day, while also mentoring and guiding other women as they navigate their paths in a still somewhat male-dominated industry. Her dedication to helping other women succeed will hopefully help to make a lasting impact on the industry's gender landscape.
Chief Executive of Impala Rustenburg, Moses Motlhageng said, "We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Sephiwe Plaatjie. Her achievement is an encouraging sign that our efforts to create a diverse and empowering environment at the ‘Home of Champions’ are moving in the right direction."
Impala Rustenburg remains steadfast in its unwavering dedication to gender equality and the promotion of equal opportunities, both of which have played a pivotal role in paving the path for Plaatjie's milestone accomplishment. Impala's ongoing commitment to embracing diversity not only enhances the richness of its workforce but also propels the industry's growth and nurtures a culture of innovation.