Coal mining supply for Eskom to be scaled down during lockdown, says Mantashe
Johannesburg - Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe says mining operations will be scaled down during the 21-day national lockdown. But coal mining operations to Eskom suppliers would remain in service, he said.
Mantashe said even the mining-related to coal supply for Eskom would be reduced, but not completely, as it was considered an essential service.
The minister was giving feedback on how the mineral sector would be implementing the government’s lockdown measures.
South Africans will go into lockdown from Thursday night to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Only essential services would remain open during the 21-day lockdown.
“Supplying Eskom with coal is a requirement. We appreciate that during the lockdown, demand will be low and as such, lower chances of load shedding,” Mantashe said.
The minister said these types of mining services would remain operational;
- The production and distribution of petroleum products, including fuel, paraffin and liquefied gas. These include the production, delivery and retail of these services.
- Petroleum products, imports will be scaled back for the duration of the lockdown.
- Regulatory oversight of nuclear facilities as well as safeguarding inspections.
On the communication front, Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said communications services were deemed as essential and would be available to keep the level of communication up to date during the lockdown.
She said the media is deemed an essential service and its workers were expected to work during the lockdown.
She said a special channel would be created on DSTV which would allow for religious leaders to host Easter services. Another measure would be the provision of a learning channel through the SABC as part of virtual learning.