The Department of Minerals and Energy says it is satisfied at the mining companies‘ level of compliance with its health and safety guidelines for managing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. That’s despite the number of infections on the mines increasing daily.
The number of mineworkers who have tested positive for the coronavirus now stands at 750. Two days ago, 690 mineworkers had tested positive.
This means there were 60 new cases on Wednesday alone. But government says there’s no reason to worry and the situation is under control.
“Our teams are out there to do the inspections, the report that we have received is that there is actually a deal of compliance by the mining companies. So we are quite satisfied with that kind of report because we know that there are many mines, they are all over the country and we don’t actually have stats at the moment, but the work is actually being done and the report is that the there is actually a great deal of compliance,” say the Director- General of the Department of Minerals and Energy, Advocate Thabo Mokoena.
As the efforts to contain the spread of the virus, COVID-19’s bite continues to be felt across industries.
Earlier on Thursday, Statistics South Africa said the pandemic and lockdown regulations have had an extensive impact on mining output and overall economic activity.
According to Stats SA, mining production decreased by over 47% in April 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
In the video below, is an analysis of mining production during COVID-19 pandemic:
The largest contributors to the decline in mining production came from platinum, iron ore, gold and manganese miners.
Nedbank Economist Busi Radebe says the significant drop in production was expected.
“Mining opened earlier than other industries. If you look at the numbers I think it was at the height of the lockdown, I think it was about 60% of the economy working but mining starts slowly opening, now it’s fully open. So you will see the production numbers go up quite a bit from this point onwards, but the big story here is probably going to be on the sale side if there’s demand for South Africa’s mineral production in the rest of the world and that going to be the big ticker this year.” – Additional reporting by Naledi Ngcobo