Exxaro’s new Belfast BU Manager, Londolani Rampfumedzi, sets out to make a valuable impact on the business, fellow employees and surrounding community

Driving the success of the organisation and its commitment to powering better lives in Africa and beyond, Exxaro’s people are its life force. The mining leader invests significantly in the personal and professional growth of its employees, equipping workers across all levels with the necessary skills and knowledge for the future requirements of the industry. 

Building an empowered, diverse and innovative workforce of tomorrow, Exxaro seeks out to find the ideal candidate for every role. Most recently, this includes newly appointed Business Unit Manager, Londolani Rampfumedzi, who heads up the resource groups digital and connected mine: Belfast. With over a decade of industry experience and expertise, Londolani brings a unique edge to this key role in the company. 

Born and bred in Venda, Limpopo, Londolani started his mining journey at Exxaro’s Tshikondeni Mine in 2003. Qualifying as an engineer wasn’t enough for Londolani – he worked after hours to attain his Mine Manager’s ticket and MBA from the University of Stellenbosch Business School. 

From Tshikondeni, Londolani moved to the coal-mining giant’s flagship – Grootegeluk in Lephalale, Limpopo – where he gained two years’ worth of hands-on experience. In 2006, he returned to Tshikondeni and served as production manager, then left to pursue another position at Exxaro’s Matla Coal Mine in 2010. Londolani worked for six years at Glencore, managing two of its underground mines and strategic projects, then moved to iMpunzi and finally joined Mafube in 2017 as General Manager, before being appointed to his current role at Belfast in May 2020. 

An obvious move for Londolani, the new Business Unit Manager is proud to be part of a young, dynamic team and looks forward to ramping up operations to make the most of Exxaro’s first-of-its-kind digital and connected mine. With the Belfast Implementation Project and other forward-thinking initiatives in the pipeline, this mine is an exciting one to manage. Using technology to add value and providing plenty of opportunities for growth, Belfast truly is a mine of the future. 

Incorporating the lessons he learnt during his time at Mafube, Londolani plans to rally his new team and combine the Exxaro and Anglo styles of management to bring the best of both into Belfast’s operations. He wants to take his fellow colleagues along on the Belfast pioneering journey, inspiring them to achieve what the organisation has set out to do – delivering a high-quality RB1 product at the right time. 

“In everything we do at Belfast, we need to ask ourselves if we can do it better by employing technology. We aren’t just digitising for the fun of it – the technology has to make our lives better, allow us to mine smarter and bring value to our people,” explains Londolani. 

“We believe that we exist within a greater community and will continue to provide opportunities for the Emakhazeni community members through technology-driven projects. For example, our community WiFi project has enabled school children in the area to continue learning during the COVID-19 crisis. It would be great one day to know that some of the kids in our area discovered their craft in the IT and digital space by experimenting with the WiFi Belfast provided,” adds Londolani. 

With community-based initiatives spanning education and skills development, enterprise development and infrastructure, Exxaro’s Belfast Coal Mine implements concrete plans to address socio-economic problems in the Emakhazeni Local Municipality. The mine’s Saturday School Project, Skills Development Programme (Machine Operator Training), Belfast Enterprise Development Centre and Water Reticulation Upgrading Project have all targeted specific community needs, including increased employment and income and better education. 

The new manager hopes to build an environment where all Belfast stakeholders can thrive – a mine where employees can work together, combining their skills and experience to excel. Londolani plans to be a firm, yet fair leader – firm when it comes to results but fair in the way he treats his team. 

“As part of a large employer that employs so many South Africans, I am proud of the contribution Exxaro makes to the country and the impact we have on so many families. Moreover, we can go into the communities and do meaningful work there, transforming the lives of hundreds more. Making a real difference in our country is something I am passionate about, and I look forward to continuing this mission in my new role,” comments Londolani. 

“As miners, it is our responsibility to ensure that the areas we operate in don’t become ghost towns when we’re gone. We are working hard to ensure that our communities don’t only benefit from our operations while we’re there but become fully sufficient, sustainable societies in the long run.”