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minerBL Premium comments that some politicians and community activists like to beat the mining industry with the claim that since the industry returned to work, it has been the epicentre of the Covid-19 epidemic in SA.  

Mining has been one of the industries returning to full capacity and has been allowed to do this in phases, with a total return to operations allowed from the beginning of June under strict safety protocols.  Mines are obliged to report their daily screening and testing results to government departments, giving ready ammunition to critics as to the number of positive cases and fatalities.  But, the label that it is an epicentre of Covid-19 is not valid.  Based on data provided by the Department of Public Service & Administration, by 7 July there were 22,219 government employees out of 1.2-million who had tested positive for the virus, and 234 who had died.  The mining industry, as at that date, had 5,369 positive cases out of the 300,676 people back at work, and 45 deaths.  Based on other metrics, the number of positive tests and fatalities per 100,000 people both show the government sector to be at higher levels than the mining industry.  Four government ministers, including mines minister Gwede Mantashe, have tested Covid-19 positive.  Two mining company CEOs have tested positive, but have recovered.  So, to inject a note of realism into the debate, it’s more dangerous working for the government during the epidemic than in the mining industry.

  • Read the full original of the comments in the above regard at BusinessLive (paywall access only)


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