The Minerals Council South Africa has advised that, as at 17 August 2021, member companies have vaccinated 105,927 employees.
This includes 946 healthcare workers vaccinated under the Sisonke programme, but excludes many employees who have been vaccinated at private and public health facilities prior to the opening of workplace vaccination sites. Around 11% of those are fully vaccinated, that is, have either received a single dose vaccine or have received both doses of a two-dose vaccine. This figure represents around 22% of mining employees and contractors.
Currently there are 45 mine-based vaccination sites that are operational, with a further 14 sites at which accreditation is still pending.
Roger Baxter, CEO of the Minerals Council, said:
“The Minerals Council and its members gave their full support to government-led vaccination from the outset, and have worked closely with the Department of Health, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, B4SA and organised labour in bringing vaccinations to employees.
“We know that a critical element of vaccine hesitancy is simply not being able to easily and conveniently get access to the EVDS system and to vaccination sites, as well as having sufficient confidence in the efficacy and safety of vaccines.
“By taking vaccines directly to the vaccinees with the support of our trusted partners in organised labour we directly address this issue – one of our smaller member companies has already reported an 83% vaccination uptake, with some of the larger companies heading towards 50%.
“Our workplace programmes are efficient and convenient, and through them our employees are also able to access credible information that supports their free choice to be vaccinated. As an industry we have set an ambitious target to get 80% of employees and contractors vaccinated if sufficient doses of vaccines are made available to us.
“We also welcome the announcement on Monday by the Department of Health that workplace sites may now vaccinate employee dependants and community members who are 35 years and above. Companies are currently looking at how to implement this outreach programme, either on mine sites or at nearby facilities.”