To develop skills and knowledge in sustainable development and mining, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has granted R4.2-million to an initiative run by the South African government and the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Aimed at helping "turn the minerals extraction and associated industries into a force for sustainable development in the country," the grant was made from AfDB’s Middle Income Country Technical Assistance Fund.

South Africa's minerals industry has a critical role to play in the sustainable development of the country, said the report by Engineering News.

AfDB believes that industry, government and mining communities need management and leaders with new skills sets to operate within the modern mining and environmental laws, to "turn potential wealth into a positive force for development".

This is where it believed UCT's interdisciplinary MPhil programme, specialising in sustainable mineral resource development, will be utilised.

The AfDB grant is aimed at enabling more candidates to attend the UCT programme’s short courses; funding internships to support capacity-building through the acquisition of field and practical knowledge; and generating knowledge, through research, on the interpretation of sustainable development goals in the minerals industry.

While this grant focuses on South Africa, it also signals the AfDB’s intention to take skills and knowledge for sustainable development on the continent more seriously.

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