Mantashe, mining companies meet over COVID-19 measures

Minister Gwede Mantashe called the meeting with mining houses in response to the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that where people gather, they should not exceed 100.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: @GwedeMantashe1/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has met with mining companies to discuss their state of readiness to protect their workforces against COVID-19.

The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, Sahlulele Luzipo, said that he welcomed the initiative by the minister.

This amid concern over the potential spread of the new coronavirus in the country's mines.

Minister Gwede Mantashe called the meeting with mining houses in response to the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that where people gather, they should not exceed 100.

This is because it was common cause that underground operations at the mines were carried out by a high number of workers at any given time with not much ventilation deep underground.

Mineral Resources and Energy committee chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo said that he also welcomed a pledge that mining companies made to Mantashe to avail some of their hostels for quarantine purposes as well as beefing up human resource capacity at their own private clinics in order to conduct regular screenings.

Although it was understood to be less likely for the coronavirus to thrive underground, owing to high temperatures, Luzipo implored companies to comply with all the precautionary measures set out by the World Health Organisation and the Department of Health, as well as the measures announced by the president.

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