So. Africa: Union demands detailed, binding' standards to ensure safety of miners
‘Mining communities head to court for protection from COVID-19’ 29 April 2020
The Labour Court will hear an urgent application brought by mining union AMCU today that calls for detailed regulations to be put in place to ensure mine workers will be properly protected from the novel coronavirus. Community network MACUA, represented by CALS, is applying to intervene in the matter as a friend of the court to highlight the vulnerability of mining-affected communities during this pandemic and ensure they have a say in the regulations impacting them.
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. Concerned, however, about the lack of clear measures to protect mine workers and affected communities, community networks and other civil society groups wrote an open letter to the President and the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy. The Minister responded positively by issuing updated regulations ordering that a screening and testing programme must be put in place for workers and that mining companies must make arrangements to transport their employees to work, as well as quarantine those who test positive for the virus.
…The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has, therefore, launched an urgent application in the Labour Court calling for the Minister to ensure that mineworkers are properly protected in line with the Mine Health and Safety Act. One of South Africa’s largest community networks is applying to intervene in the matter as a friend of the court. Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA), represented by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), intends to argue that these protections should be extended to affected communities and be developed in consultation with them