Minerals Council Contribute Millions To Oxygen Products
The Minerals Council South Africa is pleased to advise that a number of mining company members – African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American (representing De Beers, Kumba Iron Ore, Anglo American Coal and Anglo American Platinum), AngloGold Ashanti, Exxaro, Fraser Alexander, Glencore Alloys, Gold Fields, Harmony, Impala Platinum, Northam Platinum, Royal Bafokeng Platinum, Seriti and Sibanye-Stillwater – have together contributed R4.7 million towards oxygen and oxygen-related products for the Eastern Cape.
The mining industry has, over the past six months, undertaken intensive efforts in addressing COVID-19 at their operations, in communities, in their province of operation and nationally (including contributions to the Solidarity Fund and other funds). And there are many examples of companies working collaboratively in their province of operation, both under the auspices of the Minerals Council and directly.
But the Eastern Cape stands out as a mining-affected province, without mines. Historically, the industry has drawn many thousands of employees from the Eastern Cape. Currently around 61,000 mining employees (around 15% of members’ current workforce) originate from the Eastern Cape. At the same time, this is a province in dire need – it is indeed the poorest province in the country, it suffers from a lack of infrastructure, and is known to be under-resourced in terms of healthcare facilities, supplies and personnel.
Two particular districts have been identified for particular support based on their profiles as regions from which many employees have been drawn, namely Chris Hani and OR Tambo. But other districts will also be supported based on specific identified needs. The allocation of funds is guided by need and will be spent on oxygen and oxygen-related products such as oxygen tanks and concentrators, and products within the oxygen value chain, including rebreather masks, CPAP ventilators, oxygen flow meters, oxygen regulators, re-breathable masks and oxygen nasal cannulas.
Tebello Chabana, Senior Executive for Public Affairs and Transformation, commended the 13 companies for their support on this initiative. “The Minerals Council team identified the Eastern Cape as a province with a huge, impending need some weeks ago. And, as we know, for many people who become seriously ill from COVID-19, particularly those who are most vulnerable, oxygen is what is most needed and will, quite simply, represent life. That is why this intervention was so important to us, and where we felt we could make a very real and meaningful difference, in a way and a place that not many others could make on a relatively large scale.”
Orders for most of the identified equipment have already been placed, within just a few days of funding commitments having been made, with some equipment likely to reach its recipient hospitals during August. Stringent procurement protocols have been followed to ensure both quality and governance measures are met. The industry has also put in place meticulous safeguards to ensure that the equipment and supplies reaches its intended recipients.