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21 Jul 2020

So. Africa: Mining industry particularly hit hard by Covid-19 infections, as department urges tighter screening processes

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South Africa’s mining industry has been hit particularly hard by Covid-19 infections, with data from the country’s Minerals Council showing that over 5000 mineworkers have tested positive for the virus, leading to 45 deaths. These deaths and illnesses have triggered a 30% year-on-year decline in the country’s mining production, casting doubt over the ability of the sector to deal with the pandemic. This as the country’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has called on the mines to beef up the screening of employees. The DMRE was forced to ensure that mines implemented safety protocols after the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union approached the court to compel the department to tighten safety measures when employees returned to work as lockdown regulations were relaxed.