In January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, as a PublicvHealth Emergency of International Concern.
This has consequences for individual health, workplace impact and general economic impact on countries.
As a significant contributor to South Africa’s economy, the mining sector has an important role to play in mitigating the impact of the virus, especially on its employees, communities, and operations.
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The Minerals Council remains fully committed to working closely with organised labour, the Department of Health (DoH) and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) to plan and collaborate an industry response to COVID-19.
The Khumbul’ekhaya strategy will continue in 2020 with great intensity, with many of Khumbul’ekhaya interventions re-purposed to deal with COVID-19 as a priority, while still being aligned to their original intentions.
The response to COVID-19 falls within the scope of the Khumbul’ekhaya strategy through the zero-harm aspiration and 2020 priority to eliminate fatalities through prevention of infections and deaths of those infected.
Projects that have started including developing behavioural change training on COVID-19; contracting research capability to better and faster learning on all elements of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), including testing; and using geographic information system (GIS) mapping to enhance decision-making around COVID-19 in mining operations.
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CEOs are also engaging in learning through sharing of leading practices and challenges related to managing the threat at their operations and, more broadly, in the communities and homes of their employees.
The Minerals Council also recognises that the accessibility of information and transparency is critical.
The Minerals Council has made available a public portal to share insight into the Minerals Council’s position on COVID-19, useful links, documents, and the latest available information on the virus as it relates to the South African mining industry.