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Mining & Manufacturing


University of South Africa (Department of Mining Engineering)

Rorisang Gomolemo Thage, 27, is a lecturer at Unisa in the department of mining engineering and a member of the medical law and biotechnology flagship at the university.

The objective of this flagship is to provide solutions to legal problems in the fields of biotechnology and medical law. She completed her BTech in mineral resources management at the University of Johannesburg, MTech in mine planning at Unisa, and is a PhD candidate.

Rorisang is the first lecturer appointed in mine surveying in the department of mining engineering at Unisa, where her research is on open pit mine planning. Rorisang heads the mine surveying section of the department and acted briefly as the HoD.

She is serving in the governing council in the capacity of the co-opted member of the Education Committee of the Institute of Mine Surveyors of SA.

Rorisang is also a sangoma and launched her herbal shop, Nkgono Kgosigadi, in Midrand with the aim of changing the narrative on African traditional medicines. She is eager to contribute to matters of African spirituality, especially the accessibility of traditional herbal products in urban areas.  department. “I value strong ethical standards primarily because they are the determining factors to stay on track,” she says.

  • National Diploma in Mine Survey (University of Johannesburg) – 2017
  • BTech in Mineral Resource and Management (University of Johannesburg) – 2018
  • MTech Chemical Engineering (Unisa) – 2021
  • PhD candidate in Science Engineering and Technology (Unisa)

(a) The completion of my Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering with the understanding that there are very few Mine Surveyors in South Africa with higher degree qualifications especially females is one of the biggest milestones I have achieved. 

(b) The completion of my Ph.D. proposal and currently busy with my thesis as a Ph.D. candidate is among the milestones. 

(c) Currently being the only Professional Mine Surveyor in South Africa whose research is focused on Open Pit Mine Planning. 

(d) Being the Coordinator of the Mine Surveying programme at the University of South Africa involves overlooking all academic activities and ensuring the team meets faculty expectations. 

(e) Being chosen to be the acting Head of Department (HoD) in the Department of Mining Engineering on numerous occasions. 

(f) Having been appointed as a member of the governing council of the Institute of Mine Surveyors in Southern Africa (SAIMM) as an Education Committee. AWARDS:  

(a) STEMi (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Innovation) Makers Africa mentor for Project Kuongoza Fellowship in 2021. 

(b) Finalist in the category of Women in Engineering presented by Woman of Stature Foundation in 2022. The award is in recognition of my influence and contribution to the engineering discipline in South Africa. 

(c) Won the Rising Star category in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) presented by Womandla Foundation in 2022.

Having been born in Bethanie, a small village with limited resources yet surrounded by a mine. My mother would often conscientize me about the importance of education. She would sensitise me that education will create a decent life for myself due to the myriad opportunities presented by existing mines.

I would say identifying a mentor while you are still in your teenage years plays a significant role in the upbringing of youth. Another important thing is to associate yourself with people who inspire you. So, my career started taking shape after I met my mentor Professor FK Mulenga and I wish I had met him earlier.

My response to this question is twofold. Firstly, I would like to see the total eradication of load-shedding through the active intervention of the mining sector and other alternative renewable solutions working together to resolve the current energy crisis. The mining sector in South Africa ought to play a critical role in the developmental state and economic growth of the country. 

-Secondly, I would like to see more female Mine Surveyors taking up the space and being dominant in the academic field with the primary aim of expanding research within the mine surveying field.

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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