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8 Apr 2020

Mining Journal

So. Africa: Mining company commits to continue paying workers during lockdown

‘Anglo to pay South African workers during lockdown’ 7 April 2020

Global miner Anglo American (LSE: AAL) says it’s committed to paying the salaries of all 47,000 employees in South Africa during the country’s current 21-day lockdown to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The commitment follows the country's labour minister Thulas Nxesi last week reportedly saying companies could not force employees to take annual leave during the lockdown. "Society is facing the greatest threat to global health in a century," Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani said yesterday.

He said the commitment to keep paying the salaries ensured South African employees could focus on the health and safety of their families and their local communities. In an update on the company's response to the pandemic, Cutifani said South Africa was where "the most extensive operational impact" was currently being felt. "Despite operating at reduced levels in South Africa, we are still spending approximately US$125 million per week on procurement of goods and services from our suppliers and on wages, while also generating vital export earnings for the country," he said.

…The company said it had implemented a health awareness and support programme for its plus-90,000 employees and contractors around the world. Cutifani said the company had a vital role to play in delivering support to host communities and said the social contribution mining made could not be underestimated. "We want to ensure we are ready to support what will be a crucial economic recovery phase for the countries in which we operate and the global economy," he said.