As an industry, 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. It is only through collaboration that South Africa as a nation will succeed.
Beyond the 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. The Minerals Council South Africa and its members are proud to have actively joined these efforts, independently, in co-operation with each other and in cooperation with government.
While it is difficult to quantify the financial contribution made by the industry without understating the figures, the Minerals Council can provide 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 Personal Protective Equipment (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 (NGOs).
- Increasing awareness among employees and communities through radio, print and social media.
In some instances, support of a non-financial nature proved to be even more necessary. Here, the mining industry provided:
- Tracers in priority municipalities.
- Access to mine ambulances and paramedics.
- Access to tap stations, underutilised water tanks, mine water and tankers to refill water at various locations.
- Facilities that could be used for self-isolation by mine workers and other community members who test positive for the virus.
And as lock-down regulations are slowly eased, where feasible, the industry recognises that specific needs will change as it continues to adapt to the new normal brought about by COVID-19. One of the areas where mining companies are particularly active is in engaging with various provincial departments of education to explore ways and means of providing educators and learners with the necessary PPE, especially cloth masks and the sanitation of classrooms.
The Minerals Council has and will continue to seek to ensure that the industry response is coordinated and responsive to the key priority needs on the ground.
Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/15062020/minerals-council-south-africa-part-of-collective-efforts-to-minimise-impact-of-covid-19/