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29 Apr 2020

So. Africa: Miners ask court to ensure govt. sets up measures to protect them, as companies welcome decision to re-open

Over a month ago, regulations were put in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in our country by enforcing a strict lockdown – including in the mining industry, which was restricted to only essential operations. Since then, the Minister of Mines issued new regulations which allowed some mining to resume, but civil society and community network groups argue that the regulations do not go far enough to ensure workers are protected and make no reference to, for example, the need for personal protective equipment and medical facilities.  Mining unions have also told some of its not to go back to work in some mines, whilst mining companies welcomed the pragmatic approach taken to partially resume economic activity in South Africa’s mining industry while safeguarding the health of employees. Some miners have approached the courts for urgent relief. Whilst the minerals council outlines its readiness to resume operations through a ’10 point plan for its members’.