Sibanye-Stillwater and the University of Witwatersrand have collaborated to produce face shields for frontline health workers in communities around the Group`s South African operations and in the Eastern Cape Province.
The face shields are made by student and community volunteers from the Wits School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering, in a partnership between Sibanye-Stillwater and Wits University`s Digimine.
In response to the COVID-19 challenges, Sibanye-Stillwater donated a laser cutter and material to the Digital Makerspace team at the Wits TMG Makerspace, Wits Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct to produce personal protective equipment (PPE).
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To date, the volunteers have produced 6,700 shields from the Braamfontein campus at no cost, which have been distributed to Sibanye-Stillwater’s SA mines and community members.
This project has been used as a training platform, to enable the transfer of skills. The volunteers are working on producing face shields from recycled plastic to reduce the impact on the environment.
The Group will distribute 3,700 face shields to health facilities around its operations in Gauteng, Free State and North West provinces.
“Wits University is grateful for the ongoing partnership with Sibanye-Stillwater and for the combined positive impact as a result, not only in the mining community but for our society in general.
“It is imperative that we always work collectively, but particularly in challenging times, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Our partnership is based on the principle of contributing to the well-being of all in our country and we are proud to be a part of this team.
“We wish to extend a special gratitude to the team at Wits TMG Makerspace, who spent countless hours producing PPE to keep us safe,” Tanya Schönwald, Development Specialist at Wits comments.
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO, Neal Froneman says, “We are pleased that our investment in innovation is delivering results and has contributed towards our social and health efforts to support local communities during COVID-19.
“This contribution is in addition to our donation of PPE and sanitisers to clinics and hospitals in areas around our operations and in the Eastern Cape Province. We will continue to look for opportunities to support our communities and health facilities to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”