Despite concerns about mines in South African reopening a few weeks back it was, and remains, a sector that is extremely well equipped to manage the COVID-19 crisis.
The mining industry has an extensive medical care infrastructure. With the reopening of mines, the sector’s countless clinics and medical staff the sector eased the burden on National Government in terms of testing and risk aversion.
The Minerals Council South Africa also says the mining sector forms part of host communities, and host communities rely on and are integrated with mining operations. No part of the South African economy – private or public – can overcome this pandemic alone.
A statement issued by the Council says, “Special measures implemented by government, corporate and philanthropic organisations have joined forces to alleviate, where possible, the burden on public resources and provide support to communities.”
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While it is difficult to quantify the financial contribution made by the industry without understating the figures, the Minerals Council has provided a broad overview of the tangible outcomes resulting from financial support which include:
- The provision of equipment and consumables for testing facilities
- The provision and/or purchasing of PPE and critical medical equipment for health and social development personnel in the field, and in hospitals and clinics
- The purchase of water tanks and supply of water to public facilities and communities
- The provision of food parcels to vulnerable families in host communities
- Contributions to the Solidarity Fund and other non-governmental organisations
- Increasing awareness among employees and communities through radio, print and social media.
For more information about the Mining Industry Response to COVID-19 in Host Communities, click here
Until next time.
Richard Jansen van Vuuren