Deputy President David Mabuza says government is concerned about the growing number of coronavirus infections in the Bojanala District in the North West. He was speaking during an oversight visit to a field hospital at the Royal Bafokeng Platinum Mine’s Maseve operations near Rustenburg.

The North West is now seeing a substantial increase in infections, which are attributed to the resumption of mining activities in the province.

Mabuza’s visit to the North West follows a decision by the National Coronavirus Command Council that the President and his Deputy will assess the state of COVID-19 readiness of all provinces.

In the North West, five deaths and over 750 infections have been recorded. Most of the infections have been recorded in the Bojanala District. Mabuza has urged the provincial authorities to intensify contact tracing to curb the spread of infections.

“In this area, Bojanala, the virus is moving very fast. Moving a bit faster necessitating that we must change a lot of things and we must go deeper.  The Premier we are very concerned about the numbers that are still increasing. We think partnering with the traditional leaders, with the provincial government and the mines, we can do something in terms of contact tracing. Contact tracing will help us to reduce the speed,” says Mabuza.

As infections are expected to continue rising, the Royal Bafokeng Platinum Mines has initiated several interventions. They have converted a mining change house into a field hospital.

Chief Executive Officer for Royal Bafokeng Platinum Mines, Steve Phiri, says they have upgraded the facility.

“This is a change house of the mine which we no longer using and we converted it into a field hospital and we spending around R10 million for that. But over and above that there are a lot of interventions that we brought in. Across the road there is a hotel, we booked the whole hotel as a quarantine site. It has got 100 beds and another 25 chalets behind it, where we are isolated quarantined,” says Phiri.

Mabuza also took the opportunity to assess adherence to regulations in schools. He visited Bonwakgogo Primary School in Chaneng village and shared a word of encouragement for learners.

“By coming back to school you’ve assured our future. Our future will be bright. We understand the fear that there is with this disease. Everyone is scared but you stood up against all odds, you came to school. We really appreciate the partnership that you’ve shown between all the stakeholders, between your parents, between your teachers between the learners and government. Thank you very much,” says Mabuza.

The Deputy President was impressed with the school’s adherence to all lockdown regulations.

In the video below, Mabuza assesses the safety of learners and teachers: