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Case study – From mine labourer to community relations

Case study – From mine labourer to community relations

Charles Stofile


When Charles Stofile was a schoolboy he dreamed of a career in politics, but the reality of apartheid South Africa in the 1980s severely limited his options and his first job at Gold Fields was as a general mine labourer.

Today he stands in shoes that are vastly different from the miners’ boots he once filled. As head of Stakeholder Engagement and Local Economic Development at Beatrix Mine, Charles has come a long way. His career has been characterised by self-motivation and a willingness to grab opportunities for learning and improvement afforded by Gold Fields.

“To improve my prospects as a miner I did the company’s Blasting Certificate, but then my focus changed and I realised I wanted to be in a job dealing with people and their development, where I could make positive changes in the community in which I lived,” he says.

To get there Charles first did a management programme through the University of Cape Town, before taking management capacity and project management training courses at the Gold Fields Academy. “Studying while working full time and meeting your responsibilities as a family man is tough, but I believe you have to make sacrifices if you want to get ahead,” he says.

The studies paid off and Stofile climbed the ranks from mining team leader to Human Resources and Sustainable Development Officer, then Sustainable Development Superintendent, before taking up his current position. “It was a bold step for Gold Fields to establish the Academy when it did and it certainly helped me take a 200 per cent leap in my career,” he says.