AngloGold Ashanti is working across several fronts to support healthcare providers, bolster community health and hygiene responses to COVID-19, and to provide relief to the most vulnerable in society.
It has worked closely with expert, multidisciplinary teams from the provincial governments of the North West and Gauteng, to make available two hospitals for their exclusive use as part of the frontline COVID-19 effort.
These facilities will be used by the authorities for the treatment and isolation of COVID-19 patients.
“The provincial health teams have worked with incredible diligence to ensure these facilities are made available to serve the public,” says Dr. Bafedile Chauke, AngloGold Ashanti’s Vice President, Health.
“We’re pleased to work alongside the authorities in this national effort.”
The first of these is the fully equipped, 270-bed West Vaal facility near Orkney in the North West province.
The second is a West Wits hospital building near Carletonville in western Gauteng, which was closed a number of years ago during restructuring of the SA Region portfolio, and its equipment donated to other healthcare facilities or non-profit organisations in the community.
The building, which has capacity for almost 300 beds, is nonetheless in good condition and has the necessary oxygen piping infrastructure and other design elements needed for a fully functioning hospital.
The Gauteng Department of Health is working to ensure it is fully equipped and recommissioned in the coming weeks.
This initiative is one of many by businesses across South Africa, and by mining companies in particular, to help ensure preparedness to deal with COVID-19 cases.
AngloGold Ashanti is committed to supporting the multi-stakeholder efforts aimed to curtail the spread of the Covid-19 virus,” Kgomotso Tshaka, Vice President: Sustainability, says.
“Apart from the hospitals, we are providing support in a range of other areas to protect those most at risk from the devastating effects of Covid-19.”
Other AngloGold Ashanti support initiatives include:
- Donating masks from a local supplier that will be donated to the Merafong municipality in Gauteng, the Matlosana municipality in the North West Province, and the Chris Hani, OR Tambo and Amathole municipalities in the Eastern Cape;
- Local manufacture of free standing 1,000 litre water tanks which it has long used on mine sites in West Africa for handwashing. It has worked in close partnership with the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport, The City of Johannesburg, Johannesburg Water, and various taxi associations, to place these facilities at selected high-traffic areas in Gauteng, including major taxi ranks, to improve hand hygiene in areas that may not have sufficient reticulated water. This project has also been expanded to the City of Tshwane, particularly in the Hammanskraal area;
- Immediate distribution of 5,000 care parcels to the needy – containing groceries, handwash, multipurpose cleaner and a COVID19 information booklet – to social-grant beneficiaries, to help cushion the effects of the 21-day lockdown. Recipients include the elderly, people with disabilities and those receiving childcare grants. We are working alongside the Imbumba Foundation for the implementation of this initiative;
- Procured 27 electronic intensive-care beds for Soweto’s Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the world’s third-largest healthcare facility, for its COVID19 isolation units. We are working with the SAME Foundation for the implementation of this initiative;
- Providing and servicing 24 mobile toilets to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital;
- Assisting various other organisation through the Matlosana and Merafong municipalities, with blankets, food and toiletries.
As part of its total commitment, AngloGold Ashanti has also pledged R20 million to the Solidarity Response Fund, which is an independent initiative, registered as a public benefit company and supported by business, civil society and the South African government.
The fund will be used to provide rapid and targeted actions to support the healthcare sector in efforts to flatten the curve of infections and provide humanitarian support to vulnerable households and communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread suffering, disrupted billions of lives, and endangered the global economy.
Tackling the pandemic requires co-operation and co-ordination of efforts by stakeholders to ensure that resources and technology are deployed in the right way at the right time to make the biggest possible impact on controlling the pandemic and reducing the toll on human lives.
AngloGold Ashanti and its employees, across each of its 10 operating jurisdictions on three continents, is committed to working with communities, its peers, host governments and all other stakeholders, to combat the spread of the virus and to deal with its after-effects.
Read more about COVID-19