Minimum Covid-19 guidelines for mining companies published
JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Mineral and Energy (DMRE) has published the minimum guidelines for companies on managing the Covid-19 pandemic under the terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act.
“This is in compliance with the outcome of a recent labor court process, and is part of efforts by the department - as a regulator of the mining sector - to ensure the spread of the virus is contained and protect the health and safety of employees at mines, and other persons who may be directly affected,” said the DMRE in a statement.
The DMRE said it had gazetted the draft Guideline for the Compilation of a Mandatory Code of Practice for the Mitigation and Management of Covid-19 Outbreak yesterday in line with the Labour Court order that it do so by Monday, May 18.
The DMRE said that the guideline required the mitigation and management of the Covid-19 outbreak at all South Africa's mines.
“In implementing the requirements of this guideline, the employer is required to continue complying with the provisions of the Mine Health and Safety Act 1996 as amended and it’s the related guidelines including the Guiding Principles on the management of Covid-19 Instruction issued by the Chief Inspector of the Mines,” the document said.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) the biggest union in the platinum belt brought an urgent application before the court calling for detailed regulations to be put in place to ensure the protection of mineworkers from the novel coronavirus. The Mining Affected Communities United in Action community network also applied to intervene in the matter as a friend of the court to highlight the vulnerability of mining-affected communities during this pandemic.