Royal Bafokeng Platinum chief executive Steve Phiri says the global Covid-19 pandemic and the steadily increasing rise in positive cases in South Africa is a cause for concern and has encouraged the company to identify projects that could offer support to its employees, communities and the government. Photo: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)
Royal Bafokeng Platinum chief executive Steve Phiri says the global Covid-19 pandemic and the steadily increasing rise in positive cases in South Africa is a cause for concern and has encouraged the company to identify projects that could offer support to its employees, communities and the government. Photo: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

RBPlat partnerss with government to open Royal Bafokeng Platinum Field Hospital

By Dineo Faku Time of article published Jul 3, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) added 200 new beds to provide initial medical care for employees and community members in a bid to alleviate pressure on stretched state resources as South Africa expects a peak in Covid-19 pandemic from this month.

JSE-listed RBPlat said it had partnered with the North West Provincial Department of Health, to open the 200-bed Royal Bafokeng Platinum Field Hospital in Rustenburg, at a cost of R10 million. 

Chief executive Steve Phiri said yesterday that the global Covid-19 pandemic and the steadily increasing rise in positive cases in South Africa was a cause for concern and had encouraged the company to identify projects that could offer support to its employees, communities and the government.

“We have already implemented several projects to support the needy and vulnerable in our community, as well as sourced quarantine and isolation facilities at Sundown Ranch for our employees and the community, to be used as required,” said Phiri. 

The hospital was officially opened and handed to the North West Provincial Department of Health on Thursday.

The company converted its unused Maseve Mine, South Shaft Change House into a hospital boasting 2 940m² treatment facilities including five wards, each with separate beds. 

The company said each bed had its own television and personal lockable locker to store patient valuables and is individually screened off from other patient beds for privacy. 

It said that the wards had all been installed with sani-disc ultraviolet lights to kill any airborne diseases, as well as 108 caribbean 2 000w infrared heaters.

The facility was also well-ventilated and can cater for mild to moderate Covid-19 positive cases, supported with all the medical facilities and healthcare professionals as required.

The mining industry, which employs 425 0000 people, has confirmed 13 Covid-19 related fatalities and 2 573 infections mostly from platinum mines and gold mines.  

The Minerals Council said the mining industry was focusing on eliminating stigmatisation through education and communication both for employees and communities. 

"Nationally and internationally the issue of stigmatisation of Covid-19 has significant ramifications for reporting, for behaviour and for people getting treatment,” it said.  

The council said the mining stigmatisation was driven by fear, particularly the fear of the unknown.  

“ At a community level, stigmatisation may not only have an impact on the way in which mineworkers may be perceived in communities, but also in the way in

individuals and groups within communities behave and are treated. Fear of stigmatisation may lead to irresponsible behaviour, such as people not wearing

masks out of concern that they may be seen as being ill; not reporting when they are ill; and even not getting treatment when they need it which may result in

complications and even death,” said the council.

The council also said that at a company level, stigmatisation could result in in a lack of support for individuals who were ill or apportioning blame to those who are infected as if their infection was something they brought onto themselves.

BUSINESS REPORT 

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