Original Research

Exploring the challenges associated with the greening of supply chains in the South African manganese and phosphate mining industry

R.I. David Pooe, Khomotso Mhelembe
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 8, No 1 | a139 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v8i1.139 | © 2014 R.I. David Pooe, Khomotso Mhelembe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 April 2014 | Published: 21 November 2014

About the author(s)

R.I. David Pooe, Department of Logistics, Vaal University of Technology, South Africa
Khomotso Mhelembe, Department of Logistics, Vaal University of Technology, South Africa

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As with most mining activities, the mining of manganese and phosphate has serious consequences for the environment. Despite a largely adequate and progressive framework for environmental governance developed since 1994, few mines have integrated systems into their supply chain processes to minimise environmental risks and ensure the achievement of acceptable standards. Indeed, few mines have been able to implement green supply chain management (GrSCM). The purpose of this article was to explore challenges related to the implementation of GrSCM and to provide insight into how GrSCM can be implemented in the South African manganese and phosphate industry. This article reported findings of a qualitative study involving interviews with 12 participants from the manganese and phosphate industry in South Africa. Purposive sampling techniques were used. Emerging from the study were six themes, all of which were identified as key challenges in the implementation of GrSCM in the manganese and phosphate mining industry. From the findings, these challenges include the operationalisation of environmental issues, lack of collaboration and knowledge sharing, proper application of monitoring and control systems,lack of clear policy and legislative direction, the cost of implementing GrSCM practices, and the need for strong leadership and management of change. On the basis of the literature reviewed and empirical findings, conclusions were drawn and policy and management recommendations were accordingly made.


Supply chains; supply chain management; green supply chain management; manganese and phosphate mining industry;


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