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Amplats boss passionate about making a difference (and the smell of explosives)

27 August 2020 7:18 PM

'The pandemic is an opportunity for innovation'. Natascha Viljoen shares her life story and beliefs on The Money Show.
Natascha Viljoen, Amplats CEO. Image: Anglo American Platinum. Permission for use supplied.

Natascha Viljoen took over the reins as CEO of Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) in April as the Covid-19 pandemic hit hard in South Africa.

Viljoen virtually grew up on mines and Bruce Whitfield asks her about this "baptism of fire" as the new Amplats boss.

... probably one of the most interesting times in human history to take over in a role like this, certainly being privileged to take over from somebody like Chris Griffith...

Natascha Viljoen, CEO - Anglo American Platinum

It's an opportunity in times of change and uncertainty to see how one can make a difference in one's industry, she says.

Probably I'm hoping that we can't make it more complicated! At the same time though, I think in times like these it's really an opportunity for us to step in with our innovation hat, looking at how we collaborate with our partners and stakeholders.

Natascha Viljoen, CEO - Anglo American Platinum

I think it's easy to only see the downside of it - I think it's important for us to also see how we create a positive impact out of this.

Natascha Viljoen, CEO - Anglo American Platinum

Viljoen grew up in Klerksdorp, a traditional mining area, and yes, one could say mining is in her blood.

In her own words, the Amplats CEO is addicted to the smell of explosives...

My dad worked for what used to be Vaal Reefs Gold and Uranium many moons ago... That's where I had my first encounter.

Natascha Viljoen, CEO - Anglo American Platinum

He used to be a hoist driver and I had the opportunity on night shift to go to work with him... Once he had a break he would have the opportunity to walk me out... show me where the ore comes out from underground on the conveyor belts...

Natascha Viljoen, CEO - Anglo American Platinum

I think that the most important thing that I can remember... was the fact that you had these 'beautiful' settling dams an we weren't allowed to swim in it!

Natascha Viljoen, CEO - Anglo American Platinum

For more on Viljoen's life and career trajectory, listen to the in-depth interview below:


27 August 2020 7:18 PM

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