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COVID-19: Harmony Gold denies claims it’s failing to protect mine workers

Numsa claimed that even with a skeleton staff, the mine had failed to comply with safety standards.

FILE: A Harmony Gold mine. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gold mining company Harmony Gold on Wednesday denied allegations by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) that it had failed to take the necessary steps to protect workers from COVID-19 when operations resumed.

Numsa told its members not to go back to work at Harmony Gold’s Target mine on Friday. The union said that even with a skeleton staff, the mine had failed to comply with safety standards.

But the company's spokesperson Sihle Maake said that this was not true.

“Harmony has medical hubs at each of its mines and these hubs are staffed with medical professionals with at least one qualified doctor perhaps supported by qualified nurses. The company has also conducted its own audits to check that the operations have adhered to COVID-19 standard operating procedures,” Maake said.

She said Harmony Gold was committed to resuming operations in a responsible manner.

WATCH: COVID-19 Situation Desk - 28 April 2020 PM