Meet Bridgette Radebe, South Africa’s First Black Female Mining Entrepreneur

Bridgette Motsepe Radebe is a South African businesswoman. Beginning as a common miner in the 1980s managing shafts, Bridgette harbored bigger dreams. She went on to launch Mmakau Mining, a successful mining firm with interests in the exploration and production of gold, platinum, coal, ferrochrome, and uranium assets.

Radebe is the President of the South African Mining Development Association. She is also a member of the New Africa Mining Fund and serves on the Sappi Board. She has countlessly criticized the “capitalist mining model” because “it takes land to exploit the materials, the exports create ghost towns, and jobs go overseas.”

According to Radebe, when South Africa was re-created, 83% of the natural resources belonged to the racial minority (whites) and today, 91% of the same resources are owned by corporate monopolies. As a solution to this problem, Radebe suggests three solutions:

1) Complete nationalization of all mining operations

2) A state buyout of the mining operations of dwindling profitability in the name of black empowerment

3) A co-operation movement between public and private sectors over the running of South Africa’s mines.

Radebe received an “International Businessperson of the Year Award” on May 2008 by the Global Foundation for Democracy. This Award recognizes businesspeople who have made a difference in the world of changing political and environmental landscapes.

In 2019, Radebe was appointed as member of the BRICS Business Council and as South Africa’s first black female mining entrepreneur and president of the country’s largest mining chamber, the South African Mining Development Association, Bridgette is a shining example that women power is an unstoppable force.

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