Mining, money, state and industry – how hydrogen can fuel a just energy transition

The 2022 Hendrik van der Bijl Memorial Lecture was presented on 27 October 2022 in hybrid mode by Natascha Viljoen the Chief Executive Officer of Anglo American Platinum from the Senate Hall at the University of Pretoria.  Natascha is a metallurgical engineer and holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from North-West University in South Africa and an Executive MBA from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. When she was appointed as CEO of Anglo American Platinum in April 2020, she brought with her 28 years of operational experience from across the mining industry, spanning many different countries, metals and minerals including, of course, platinum group metals. Natascha became CEO when the world was facing unprecedented times, yet, throughout the  turbulence, she continued to ensure that the company continued to build its business for the future and remained focused on the next wave of value creation for all its stakeholders.

In 2020 and 2021, Natascha was ranked among the top 50 in Forbes magazine’s Most Powerful Women International list. She was included on the list of 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining in 2020.

In her lecture she argued that a Just Energy Transition for South Africa, by definition, should allow the country to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels while minimising negative impacts on its economy, workers and residents. Building a hydrogen economy in South Africa offers the opportunity for the private sector, government and other key stakeholders to develop partnerships to unlock substantial and coordinated infrastructure development that will not only secure sustainable demand for the country’s  platinum group metal products but will create jobs, reduce carbon emissions,  

Natascha Viljoen the Chief Executive Officer of Anglo American Platinum