Bulk of foreign miners back at their stations, says Minerals Council
- The Minerals Council says 62% of foreign mineworkers have returned to South Africa.
- Meanwhile, 74% of the country's total mining workforce is back at work.
- 140 mineworkers have died to Covid-19 to date.
The Minerals Council of South Africa says it has been collaborating with various government departments to ensure that foreign mine workers are back in the country.
Of the 11 482 foreign mineworkers identified, 62% have returned to South Africa. The council says that 4 392 are still in their respective countries.
During a briefing on Thursday Nikisi Lesufi, the council's senior executive for environment, health and legacies, said the lobby group worked with the health department to ensure all safety protocols were in place. The department of international relations and cooperation facilitated discussions with neighbouring countries regarding the movement of employees.
"We have brought back the majority of workers and the remaining ones are the no shows during the planned schedule. In terms of our plan all the workers were supposed to have returned to SA by August 20. The next 7 days will be the mop up operation for those who missed the opportunity to come back for some reason," he said.
According to Minerals Council's health chief Thuthula Balfour, 74% of the South Africa's total mining workforce is back at work, or 328 000 of 442 000 mineworkers.
As of Thursday, 140 mineworkers have died to Covid-19 in South Africa. The highest number of cases is from the North West followed by Mpumalanga. The council said 60 deaths had occurred in the platinum industry, and 52 deaths in the gold industry.