Citizen Reporter
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1 minute read
20 Mar 2020
12:15 pm

Committee welcomes initiative taken by Mantashe to tackle coronavirus in mining industry

Citizen Reporter

The committee chairperson also welcomed a pledge by mining companies made to Mantashe to avail some of their hostels for quarantine purposes.

Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Moneyweb

The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, Sahlulele Luzipo, welcomed the initiative by Minister of Minerals and Energy Gwede Mantashe for meeting with mining companies to discuss the state of readiness to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the workplace.

This comes after Mantashe called a meeting in response to the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that any number of people gathering should not exceed 100.

“Accordingly, it is common cause that underground operations in the mines are carried out by a high number of workers,” Luzipo said in a statement.

The committee chairperson also welcomed a pledge by mining companies made to Mantashe to avail some of their hostels for quarantine purposes as well as strengthening human resource capacity at their own private clinics in order to conduct regular screening on workers.

Luzipo said it was understood to be less likely for the virus to thrive underground to owing to high temperatures, though this has not been confirmed by the World Health Organisation.

However, he urged companies to comply with all the precautionary measures according to the World Health Organisation and the department of health, as well as measures announced by President Ramaphosa.

“The outbreak of Covid-19 brings about the need for the department of mineral resources and energy to accelerate work on the Mine Health and Safety Amendment Bill, which should address measures to be taken in the event of pandemics like Covid-19 in the future,” said Luzipo.

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