Financial Mail reports that Stella Carthy, head of skills development at the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, says that according to the data collected by the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) the skills shortage in the mining industry is only 1.6%.
"The only reliable figures we have come from the MQA and these figures are not telling us there is a shortage."
This is not to say there is not a skills shortage, as the way the data is collected and analysed appears problematic.
"People describe a shortage in different ways. So a mine manager asked if he has a shortage of skills in his team may say yes, because he has a person there to do the job, but that body is not productive because of insufficient training. He may report it as a lack of skills when it is actually an inadequacy in skills," says Carthy.