Parliament, Sunday, 17 May 2020 – The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, Mr Sahlulele Luzipo, together with the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment and Mineral Resources and Energy, Ms Tebogo Modise, were shocked to learn about the nine employees who tested positive for Covid-19 at the Implants’ Marula mine in Limpopo, and wished those workers for a speedy recovery.
The chairpersons understand that 14 of the 19 employees work for Marula mine, whereas five were contractors, and that they were all part of a group of 280 employees who were proactively tested, not only screened, before returning to work.
Mr Luzipo and Ms Modise commended the mine management for conducting full tests on all employees before returning to work and, for providing a quarantine facility for all those who tested positive. Furthermore, the chairpersons welcomed a swift response by the Minister of Minerals and Energy, Mr Gwede Mantashe, who, after being informed, went to meet with Limpopo’s Premier and MEC of Health, and the mine management to develop a programme and approach to deal with the situation.
Mr Luzipo and Ms Modise were encouraged by Mr Mantashe when he reaffirmed in the meeting that his department will not hesitate to close down the mine, if it were to learn that employees were allowed to go underground without first being tested.
The chairpersons are aware that the mine is temporarily closed for deep cleaning, together with the Marula clinic, but they encouraged the management to conduct regular tests on employees as soon as production resumes. To this end, both chairpersons believe that whilst there is a need to open up the economy, however, the primary responsibility of the employers is to ensure maximum safety of their employees, and they appealed to the department to ensure that this is adhered to.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON MINERAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, MR SAHLULELE LUZIPO, AND CHAIRPERSON OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON LAND REFORM, ENVIRONMENT AND MINERAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, MS TEBOGO MODISE
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the Committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Mr Justice Molafo
Tel: 021 403 8444
Cell: 081 424 7481
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