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Blog post

“It’s good to be getting back out there”

Ritz Steytler, CEO of Axora, recently flew to South Africa to visit Exxaro’s Grootegeluk open-cast mine in Limpopo, and met mining engineer Verah Malele and innovation champion Elaine Hattingh.

Contributors

contact-Ritz Steytler

Ritz Steytler

Chief Executive Officer

Axora was founded in 2019, and I joined as CEO in August 2020. It’s all too easy to forget, now, that at that time the world was eight months into an extraordinary pandemic. Much of the world, including us, was forced into an online, virtual existence – and yet there we were, building a unique marketplace of extraordinary solutions designed to help organisations engaged in some of the most real-world, physical activities known to man: mining, energy and other heavy industries. It was, in hindsight, quite the paradox.

As the transition to ‘net zero’ gathers both pace and urgency, we will come to see for ourselves the real-world challenges you face – both the types and scale – so we can make sure we’re always sourcing the solutions you need to meet them

But, I’m relieved to say, the times they are a-changing. Just recently I was able to visit South Africa, the much-changed land of my birth, to visit Exxaro’s Grootegeluk open-cast mine in Limpopo. This astonishing operation feeds the vitally important Matimba and Medupi power stations, the former with some 14.6 million tons of coal per year.

At Grootegeluk my colleagues and I were able to remind ourselves of the sheer scale at which modern mining takes place. We were able to talk – face-to-face! – with mining engineers like Verah Malele and innovation champion Elaine Hattingh and to discover what truly matters to them, quite literally ‘at the coalface’.

Why am I relating this? Because I think it’s important to remind everyone that Axora, and specifically the experts within it, don’t sit in some ivory tower somewhere, trying to flog technology remotely. We’re just not that kind of marketplace. Quite the opposite is true, in fact: our industry experts have walked in your shoes and know your pain points. We want to keep it that way.

It's good to be getting back out there. Now the world is opening up again, we – me included – will continue to get out there. As the transition to ‘net zero’ gathers both pace and urgency, we will come to see for ourselves the real-world challenges you face – both the types and scale – so we can make sure we’re always sourcing the solutions you need to meet them.

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