Parliament, Thursday, 16 April 2020 – The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, Mr Sahlulele Luzipo, has appealed to mining companies to adhere to the national lockdown regulations and called on the law enforcement agencies to act decisively on those who contravene the National Disaster Act regulations, especially senior mining bosses.
Mindful of the fact that a complete switch-off of operations at some mines could be costly post-lockdown when mining resumes, Mr Luzipo encouraged that only few essential workers should be allowed to work, and that coronavirus preventative measures should be obeyed strictly.
“What we saw in the news this week was concerning, that despite being granted permit to run operations at a strictly scaled down workforce that provides essential service in the context of an underground mine, Implats is reported to have instructed non-essential workers to report for work, which was taking a risk with the lives of the workers,” said Mr Luzipo.
Mr Luzipo further said the risk involved travelling from far-flung places, including provinces outside the North West, as well as neighbouring countries like Lesotho, despite workers not first being screened and tested and without proper transport arrangements or essential service permits.
He then encouraged that where permissions are granted to run some scaled down essential service operations, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy should put in place stringent measures to be followed by mining companies in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Screening and testing should be compulsory prior the resumption of work and workers should be provided with masks and sanitisers, as well as making provision for social distancing,” said Mr Luzipo.
Lastly, Mr Luzipo has noted and welcomed an agreement between the National Union of Mineworkers and Harmony Gold to resume operations after the lockdown, thereby encouraging other mining companies to learn a lesson.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON MINERAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, MR SAHLULELE LUZIPO.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the Committe’s Media Officer:
Name: Mr Justice Molafo
Tel: 021 403 8444
Cell: 081 424 7481
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