Careers at South Deep

South Deep has programmes in place to attract and develop excellent candidates, resulting in an ongoing pipeline of suitably qualified people to take up employment at our operation. Bursaries, graduate training opportunities and internships offered by South Deep are dependent on the specific operational needs of the mine and focus on core mining disciplines such as engineering, mining, geology, surveying, metallurgy and rock engineering.

Careers [photo]


South Deep has a well-established bursary scheme offered as part of its Social and Labour Plan (SLP). Bursaries are offered based on the financial needs of a student, and students are required to work back for the period sponsored, depending on the availability of vacancies at South Deep.

The objective of the bursary scheme is to increase skills, close the gap on hard-to-fill vacancies and scarce skills, and support South Deep’s transformation objectives. Bursaries may be awarded to students meeting the required criteria, and interested in or busy studying the following core mining disciplines:

  • Geology
  • Ventilation
  • Metallurgical and chemical engineering
  • Electrical and mechanical engineering
  • Mining engineering and support services

Bursaries are offered to both external candidates (members of the community) and employees’ children and relatives who wish to study for a tertiary qualification in a mining-related diploma or degree. Bursaries cover books, an allowance, accommodation and tuition fees.

The number of bursaries made available each year is based on our SLP targets and budget, and will see between 9 and 14 bursaries being available each year in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The bursaries are advertised at key information points in our communities, and qualifying learners are invited to apply. In selecting bursars, we ensure that our targeted communities are well represented in terms of demographics.

Graduate trainee opportunities and internships

South Deep offers the opportunity to gain practical experience to its current bursars through vacation work and experiential training. Graduates are also accommodated through a three-year postgraduate training programme and are assigned a mentor who will provide appropriate professional guidance.

We also offer one-year internships to those learners who are required to complete work-integrated learning before they can graduate.

The emphasis of the graduate and internship programme is to identify high potential young historically disadvantaged candidates and give priority to candidates from our local communities. Once these learners have completed the internship programme, South Deep exercises its option to offer the candidates permanent employment.

In a given year, South Deep offers opportunities to approximately:

  • Leadership [icon]

    15 bursars

  • Leadership system [icon]

    40 interns

  • Leadership [icon]

    10 learners for vacation work

University of the Witwatersrand School of Mining

South Deep is one of the major sponsors of the Wits University’s School of Mining. Its current 3-year, R8m sponsorship is focused on supporting final year, Honours and Masters students as well as the school’s staff in funding mechanised mining related research. The research work should benefit the mine in that it provides learnings for the mine’s current or future operational and other programmes. The researchers will be provided a contact person at South Deep to support their work.

Bursaries and scholarships through the South Deep Education Trust

The South Deep Education Trust (SDET) is a major vehicle through which labour sending communities are supported with financial and experiential assistance for people wanting to pursue careers in mining related roles.

Bursaries through SDET

Currently 60 students benefit from the SDET bursary scheme through tuition, accommodation and equipment fees. There is no current intake but when the opportunity to apply is available, candidates who meet the following criteria will be eligible:

  • Historically Disadvantaged Individuals Persons from low-income households in the communities surrounding the South Deep mine and/or its Labour Sending Areas
  • Students in their undergraduate years of tertiary study
  • Students without existing bursaries, scholarships or other forms of funding
  • Applicants fields relevant to the mining sector in South Africa
  • First time applicants with an average pass mark of 60% for the most recent year of study (excluding life orientation) who are not dependents of Gold Fields employees

Any updates or details on aspects of this criteria will be made available when the bursary scheme advertises its new intake.


The SDET selected two schools in the Eastern Cape to receive scholarship students from underprivileged backgrounds. Seventeen scholars had their school fees covered while attending Kingswood College until 2019, and a further 22 will be supported until 2024 while they complete primary and high school at Clifton School.

The SDET looks to give scholars an early start in terms of support and each year selects the cream of the crop of local grade 7 scholars to attend some of SA’s best high schools. This project currently covers full tuition and boarding for 14 learners from Westonaria for the entirety of their high school career.

For more information, contact the South Deep Education Trust at

Our people on the move

New appointments in July 2020

Ravindra Sewpersad

Ravindra Sewpersad, Superintendent: Digital Infrastructure showed an interest in electronics at an early age. This developed into a love for computers at age 14, when his dad bought his first laptop. The ever changing and new technologies of IT continue to motivate him.

Your problems are not greater than the next person's.

Q - What has surprised you most about South Deep?
A - The friendly and helpful people.

Q - Where do you see South Deep in the next five years?
A - Building a sustainable and streamlined operation/business.

Q - How is South Deep going to get there?
A - Ensuring that everyone owns their space and does not lose sight of the goal. Make the right choice always.

Promotions in June 2020

Sivuyile Maseko

Sivuyile Maseko, Assistant Engineer has been with South Deep since 2000, when he started as a trackless diesel mechanic. A passion for interacting with people, diesel machinery and problem solving motivated him along his career path.

I’m a believer, I believe that by living out the company values and supporting initiatives like the Siyaphambili and MIP programmes we can reach our goals in the next five years.

Q - What has surprised you most about South Deep?
A - I have had many surprises over the years, but one that comes to mind is the Maintenance Improvement Plan (MIP) which has tremendously improved the reliability of our trackless machinery.

Q - Where do you see South Deep in the next five years?
A - As one of the most profitable Gold Fields mines.

Q - How is South Deep going to get there?
A - By living the company values and supporting initiatives like the Siyaphambili and MIP programs.

Gary Katambayi

Gary Katambayi, Assistant Engineer, wanted to be an engineer from a very young age, to follow in the footsteps of his father and role model. He began his career in mining as a Gold Fields bursary recipient.

My life philosophy is that without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.

Q - What has surprised you most about South Deep?
A - Many things over the years. The most recent pleasant surprise was the swift proactive approach to the global pandemic. My family, like all other South Africans, were quite unsure about us returning to work. South Deep’s response and measures have put them at ease.

Q - Where do you see South Deep in the next five years?
A - As leaders in safe and efficient mining operations. South Deep having the majority of the machinery operated remotely from the surface, away from hazardous conditions.

Q - How is South Deep going to get there?
A - By investing in new technology, development of employees and an adequate retention strategy.

Mzwakhe Tshabalala

Mzwakhe Tshabalala, Section Manager: Production Engineering started out pursuing a career in medicine before realising he prefers to perform dissection on mining challenges, rather than people.

I am an eternal student and the field I am in never stops teaching.

Q - What has surprised you most about South Deep?
A - Organisational re-invention: Mostly displayed through Teaming which was one of our greatest weaknesses. Also cultivation of the Good to Great culture inspired by the power of belief, i.e., “If you believe it you will see it”.

Q - Where do you see South Deep in the next five years?
A - As the epitome of a world class mining company.

Q - How is South Deep going to get there?
A - Celebrating incremental wins, re-inventing ourselves with every hurdle we face, and mostly understanding that our victories are not success but rather an opportunity for greater things to come.