The portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy has appealed to mining companies to adhere to the national lockdown regulations.
In a statement, the committee chairperson, Sahlulele Luzipo, also called on “law enforcement agencies to act decisively on those who contravene the National Disaster Act regulations, especially senior mining bosses”.
Mr Luzipo added that the mineral resources and energy department needs to put stringent measures in place to be followed by mining companies granted permission to run essential service operations in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Amendments to Disaster Management Act regulations on COVID-19 stipulate that mining operations, excluding collieries that supply Eskom, shall be conducted at a reduced capacity of 50% during the lockdown, and thereafter at increasing capacity as determined by the mineral resources and energy minister.
Conditions have been put in place such as a rigorous screening and testing programme to be implemented for returning workers, quarantine facilities to be provided for workers that test positive for the virus and mining companies to transport workers from their homes to the mines.
“Screening and testing should be compulsory prior to the resumption of work and workers should be provided with masks and sanitizers, as well as making provision for social distancing,” said Mr Luzipo.