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Our Leadership

Manie Kriel

Managing Director

manie@vbkom.com

Manie Kriel - Managing Director


Eduan Pieterse

Director

eduan@vbkom.com

Eduan Pieterse - Director


George Olivier

Director

george@vbkom.com

George Olivier


Brendan Botha

Principal

brendan@vbkom.com

Brendan Botha - Principle


Strauss Oosthuizen

Principal

strauss@vbkom.com

Strauss Oosthuizen - Principle

Manie Kriel

Chief Executive Officer

Manie Kriel - Chief Executive Officermanie@vbkom.com

Starting VBKom in 2008 with 4 close friends was a dream come true!

I hold a Mining Engineering degree from the University of Pretoria which I obtained in 1994, as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Leadership from UNISA, 2001.

I have a passion for business and would describe myself as a streetwise entrepreneur. I dream to build VBKom to a company that will compete internationally with the best and to leave a legacy. I am proud to be African, and love this continent and its people. I do not like that our continent is associated with corruption and negativity, and believe that I can contribute to change this perception, through quality outputs and continuous hard work.

I started my career as a Mining Engineer with Anglo Gold at Vaal Reefs in 1995. In 1999 I had a great opportunity to move to Germany where I was privileged to work on a large mechanised open pit mine with a network of bucket wheel excavators. I received training on project management – the “German way”, and returned to South Africa to manage the commissioning of a new processing facility in Delmas, Mpumalanga. My career progressed nicely along the operational- and production management route and I was appointed as General Mine Manager at the age of 35, responsible for four alluvial diamond mines, seven beneficiation plants and two mining towns in the Northern Cape Province. In 2006 I left production and started a “new” career as mining consultant, something that I love and will hopefully continue doing way beyond retirement age.   

I was born and raised in Johannesburg. My dad was a blue collar worker until he started his own manufacturing business when I was in high school.  His work ethic and generosity towards others has made a huge impression on my life. I married my varsity sweetheart as soon as I graduated – 20 years of absolute bliss. Our daughter turned 6 in April. I love all things South-African – braai, rugby, nature and good humour. We enjoy travelling abroad when the Rand exchange rate allows it.

My life philosophy is simple: “Surrounding myself with people with greater potential than myself, will ensure that I continue to grow.”

Eduan Pieterse

Director - Africa & Energy

Eduan Pieterse Director - Africa & Energyeduan@vbkom.com

I come from the Karoo, but grew up in Port Elizabeth. By grace I received the opportunity to study in Pretoria and as an undergraduate I studied Agricultural Engineering whilst sharing subjects and classes with my Mining Engineering colleagues. Unbeknownst, but this trivial aspect would lead to me joining VBKom 13 years later. As a postgraduate I never actually applied myself in the agriculture sector as my Master’s dissertation opened the door for me to enter into the world of consulting & strategy. It was at that time during a brief lapse of concentration that I enrolled into a post graduate diploma in Taxation at Wits, where I proved to the rest of the lawyers in class that willpower trumps intelligence!

My interest in Enterprise Risk Management and Project Management evolved whilst I was consulting to the Regulatory and Credit Risk divisions of Absa Bank, and implementing Credit Rating Systems for Commercial and Business Banking. It was only after 8 years in the corporate world that I came full circle to rejoin my mining colleagues at VBKom.

My StrengthsFinder results corroborate that I am a perpetual optimist who loves to pull people into the conversation by sharing ideas about future possibilities. I am an early riser with a passion for leadership, learning and growing people. I have a weakness for hot-cross buns, and enjoy listening to almost all types of music, as long as it is loud.

My wife and three children come first, followed closely by a good red wine, freshly baked bread and photography.

George Olivier

Director - Base & Precious Metals

George Oliviergeorge@vbkom.com

Director | Principal Mining Engineer

I grew up in the mining world, spending most of my school years in the mining town of Thabazimbi in the Limpopo Province. I was fortunate to get a full study bursary from the then Iscor Mining.  After achieving my Mining Engineering degree in 1999 in the first class from the University of Pretoria, I started my career in underground coal mining at the Tshikondeni Colliery.  With the very well-structured graduate-in-training programme of the old Iscor Mining division, I obtained a fiery underground blasting certificate and production experience in both coal and open pit mining.  I continued my mining engineering career at Thabazimbi Iron Ore open pit mine in the production and mine planning departments, obtaining my Mine Manager’s Certificate of Competence during this time in 2004. 

In 2005 I made the decision to join the mining consulting world.   I was one of the founding members of VBKom Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd in 2008 – a business that has grown successfully in the mining engineering consulting space, serving more than 20 clients at any given time.  In 2012 I obtained the status of Professional Engineer from the Engineering Council of South Africa.  I am also a Member of the South African Institute for Mining and Metallurgy.  I am a competent person for reserve sign off in terms of international codes (SAMREC, JORC, NI43-101). I have managed various technical mining studies in the gold-, copper-, platinum, nickel-, aggregates, limestone, coal-, vanadium, fluorspar-, manganese-, and iron ore mining environments. These projects were a combination of open pit, open cast and underground mining projects.  Numerous of these projects and mines were distributed throughout southern, eastern, central and western Africa.

I love to travel; the opportunity to combine travel with my interest in the mining sector is truly a blessing to me.

Brendan Botha

Principal - Base / Precious

Brendan Botha Principal - Base / Preciousbrendan@vbkom.com

Principal Geologist

I entered the mining industry after obtaining my BSc (Hons) in Geology in 1999.  I have worked on various mining sites and commodities, base metals, iron ore, coal, heavy mineral sands and industrial minerals over the 12 years that followed.  During this period I completed my MSc (Earth Science and Programme Management) and Masters in Mineral Resource Management degrees.

In 2012 I joined Coffey International, a mining consulting company, as Manager Exploration where I was involved in numerous exploration projects through Africa in countries such as Namibia, Botswana, Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Zambia.  After a period there, I returned to the mining industry as a Geology Project Manager, focussing on geological requirements for pre-feasibility and feasibility studies.

I joined VBKom in 2015 as Principle Geologist where we are active in creating customised solutions for our clients in the field of geoscience.

My passion is the creation of value through the application of innovative business improvement approaches in the area of geology, geometallurgy and geostatistics to ensure the success of our clients.

I am married to Zelmia Botha and have one daughter, Wilmien.  I am also an avid rugby supporter and partake in the best hobby in the world, beer brewing!

Strauss Oosthuizen

Principal- Ferrous

Strauss Oosthuizen Principal- Ferrousstrauss@vbkom.com

Decision Support & Risk Services Consultant

I’m a committed Industrial Engineer and my passion is to instil structure and optimise any environment in which I may find myself. I believe that balance is the fuel that drives my engine and I therefore place my family as my first priority. I’m happily married with a wonderful wife and two beautiful children. A StrengthsFinder analysis notes my strengths as Responsibility, Relator, Maximiser, Achiever and Strategic.

I grew up in Polokwane (previously Pietersburg) and studied at the University of Pretoria where I obtained my Industrial Engineering degree in 2000 and my honors in 2004. I started my profession in the engineering logistics arena in 2001 where I was involved in multiple engineering asset management projects that focused on business analysis, maintenance and configuration management mainly in the military, telecommunication, petrochemical and banking industries. I made a move into the supply chain industry where I performed a project management role on supply chain implementation and roll-out projects in the petrochemical and telecommunications industries and obtained my Certified Supply Chain Professional qualification as well as my Professional Engineer Accreditation in 2011. I obtained my Project Management Professional accreditation early in 2012 and entered the mining environment where I have enjoyed 4 years on project and risk management, operational readiness and decision making support on awesome capital intensive projects within the mining industry.