The Digital Mining Incubator is a co-creation space focused on developing mining engineering competence. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN – The Digital Mining Incubator is a co-creation space focused on developing mining engineering competence. 

The incubator is integrated into the Wits Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct and is aimed at upskilling young individuals who have an interest in the mining sector, as well as disadvantaged individuals interested in actively participating in the future of mining. 

Together with mentors from Wits, Tshimologong and Siemens, students will be enabled with the necessary tools and skills to effectively transform and develop the South African mining sector.

Sabine Dall’Omo, Siemens chief executive for Southern and Eastern Africa says: “Our partnership with Wits and Tshimologong is about advancing the digital opportunities that mining offers our youth. Failing to position the mining sector in South Africa within discussions about the Fourth Industrial Revolution means remaining stagnant on the path towards industrialization. 

"It’s like being back in the 80’s watching black and white television and constantly trying to reposition the bunny aerial to get rid of those blurry lines, all while living in the year 2018. This is not where you want to be." 

Mining remains a critical player in the macro-economic landscape of South Africa and yet, there is still enough potential for the sector to further make a positive impact on gross domestic product (GDP) and skills development. 

Professor Barry Dwolatzky, Director of Wits University’s JCSE (Joburg Centre for Software Engineering) and Founder of the Tshimologong Precinct, says: “Having Siemens open a digital incubator dedicated to promoting innovation in Mining is a very significant landmark in bringing the benefits of 21st Century digitalization to one of the most critical sectors in the South African economy. The DMI will provide a dedicated platform for developing innovative solutions to some of our Mining Industry’s greatest challenges including health and safety, environmental protection and improved productivity.”

“At Siemens we believe that there needs to be genuine investment towards the localization of technology and the development of digital talent to enable a strong, future-oriented workforce. The integration of digitally adept youth into the world of work will not only inspire new ideas, it will also transform and advance industries,” said Dall’Omo.