HomeHealth and safetyMining Elites in Africa 2021: Royal Bafokeng Platinum

Mining Elites in Africa 2021: Royal Bafokeng Platinum

Royal Bafokeng Platinum, which operates the BRPM and Styldrift mines (and also the Maseve mine, currently on C&M), has outdone many of its industry peers in terms of its response to COVID-19, delivering a hospital to support the fight against the pandemic.

Working closely with the North West Provincial Department of Health and the Bojanala District Health Department, RBPlat successfully converted its unused Maseve mine’s South Shaft Change House into a well-equipped 200-bed field hospital to provide initial COVID-19 medical treatment to its employees and communities.

This article first appeared in Mining Elites in Africa 2021
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The 2 940 m² treatment facility includes five wards, each with separate beds.

Each bed has its own television and personal lockable locker to store patient valuables and is individually screened off from other patient beds for privacy.

“Many mining operators such as Royal Bafokeng Platinum are exemplifying the power of good that responsible companies can achieve to support the communities in which they operate.” – Tom Quinn

The wards have all been installed with sani-disc ultraviolet lights to kill any airborne diseases, as well as 108 Caribbean 2 000 W infrared heaters.

The facility is well-ventilated and can cater for mild to moderate COVID-19 positive cases.

Speaking at the official opening and handover of the R10 million facility on 1 July, 2020, Steve Phiri, CEO of RBPlat, said the company had undertaken the development of the hospital as part of its collective responsibility “to make a real difference in our communities during this difficult time”.

“Going the extra mile in response to COVID-19, this company built a hospital amongst other initiatives. Excellent.” – Jim Pooley

The hospital is just one of a number of initiatives RBPlat has launched in response to the pandemic although by far the biggest in monetary terms.

In May 2020 the company announced that it had pledged R3 million to support local communities. This support has included the provision of 2 500 hampers and hygiene care packs over a three-month period to the needy and vulnerable communities; continuous screening of households for COVID-19 prevalence; and sanitising taxis that take RBPlat employees to and from work.

The company also established a 100-bed self-isolation facility for employees not able to self-isolate due to their living conditions, as well as a 24-bed quarantine facility, at its Sundown Ranch property near Sun City.

In addition, it is running an intensive education and awareness campaign for its employees and community members on measures that can be taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The extent to which this mining company has gone to protect its workforce and communities from contracting COVID-19 is impressive. This company is proof of what can be done in extremely difficult times.

RBPlat, a mid-tier PGM producer, is performing strongly and in 2020 reported outstanding results for 2019, with a 248.4% increase in EBITDA to R656 million.