02 July 2020 - NW999
Nxumalo, Mr MN to ask the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
(1)Given the reports of positive cases of Covid-19 at some mines, what steps does his department intend to take to better manage the situation at mines; (2) what is his current position on the Covid-19 testing of miners, in light of guidelines that his department published last week that did not involve physical testing, but only the screening of patients which involves only questioning the patients about their movement and coming into contact with the virus and ignoring asymptomatic patients?
1. The Department has promulgated a Guideline for the Compilation of a Mandatory Code of Practice for the Mitigation and Management of Covid-19 Outbreak. For instance, the Guideline requires the employers to ensure that employees returning from areas which are regarded as hotspots of COVID-19 are quarantined for 14 days before they return to work. Also, there must be vigorous screening and testing at the mines as well as to ensure that hygiene practices and the provision of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) are maintained.
Further, the Department conducts inspections to ensure that effective measures are implemented on the mitigation and management of COVID-19 and issue instructions where necessary to ensure compliance with the legal provisions.
2. The Guideline issued by the Department does not require for only screening to be done but for employees to also be tested. In fact, most of the cases reported by the sector were asymptomatic and were as a result of the DMRE requirement for testing to be done.
The mines are also required through the Guideline to work in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH) when conducting contact tracing.
Chief Inspector Mines
Recommended / Not Recommended
Advocate T S Mokoena
Director General: Department of Mineral Resources and Energy
Mr SG Mantashe, MP
Minister of Mineral Resource and Energy