South Africans had reason to be happy this week following the arrival of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccinations into the country on Monday.
Now, while it is good that the vaccines have arrived, the bigger focus should be on a vaccination roll out plan over the coming months. Therefore, it is commendable that the Minerals Council South Africa has offered to support government in distributing vaccines to mining employees and communities.
Working together with government and labour, the Minerals Council aims to vaccinate 60 000 to 80 000 people per day, not only mine workers but also their family members as well. The target is to vaccinate 3 million people in 60 days.
It may seem like a tough ask but the mining sector has done exceptionally well to curb the spread of the pandemic. A case in point: As of 21 January 2021, 382,962 people had been screened and 104,084 tests carried out. The testing rate in the sector was 22.06%, higher than both the country’s (13.65%) and the global test rate (18.20%).
Health is everyone’s concern
Speaking at the opening of the Investing in African Mining Indaba Virtual event yesterday, President Cyril Ramaphosa praised the efforts of the mining sector in protecting the health of employees amid the pandemic.
Now, let’s hope that government will throw its support behind the sector’s aim of getting as many ‘jabs in arms’ as possible in the coming months.
Supporting the sector is a responsibility every individual or company should commit to where they can. Mining Review Africa is doing so through the publication of Mining Elites in Africa 2021 – showcasing and shining a light on leaders and projects making a difference – and inspiring the rest of industry to follow suit.