Dawn Mokhobo
Rainmakers & Potstirrers

Dawn Mokhobo

Chair: Wesizwe Platinum


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‘Our strategic intent remains to complete development, ramp up production and become a profitable business’

DAWN Makhobo may rue the day she accepted the chairperson role at Wesizwe. Its flagship Bakubung Platinum Mine, located near the gaming resort of Sun City, has proven – ironically, given its location – to be something of a gamble; in fact, one that is not paying off. In the company’s 2022 annual report, Makhobo noted an outbreak of community unrest in January of that year that delayed production, and said that in response the management team had “prioritised the strengthening of our relationships with key stakeholders ... to enhance engagement, resolve legitimate concerns, and build mutually respectful relationships.” Such initiatives have not gone according to plan.

In late November 2023, the company announced a restructuring that could see up to 570 job cuts, triggering a new wave of unrest. In early December, around 250 miners at Bakubung staged a wildcat strike and sit-in. Most were members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). The union said its members were angered after the company followed the lay-off announcements with ads for top management positions. The NUM protesters were also pushing for pay hikes and improved benefits. None of this bodes well for labour and community engagement going forward at a mine that has long been plagued by commissioning delays.

A decade ago, the project was a relative rarity: a new platinum group metals mine being built in South Africa against the backdrop of surging levels of labour and social unrest sweeping the sector. It is now caught in the same vortex with fewer chances to roll the dice. As such, Wesizwe’s Bakubung occupies an unenviable place in the country’s PGM sector: as one of the white elephants that have turned asset management companies like Coronation completely off the sector.


Mokhobo has a long and varied CV in both the private and public spheres. She is on the boards of Engen, Altron, and Sabvest, and holds directorships at Sasol Inzalo Public Funding Limited and Ingwazi Resources. She is also chairperson of Africa International Advisors, Kwanda Private Equity Investments and a director and shareholder of Gidani.Mokhobo has worked with South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission and the UN Special Committee on Women and Economic Development. Qualifications include a BA degree from the University of the North.

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