Healthcare Support for Employees and Local Communities by Mining Companies during the Covid-19 Pandemic, with Potential for Alignment to Municipal Integrated Development Plans and Mining Social and Labour Plans
The Successful Application of Technologies Centred Around People (SATCAP) programme at the Mandela Mining Precinct focus is on the interface between technology associated with modernisation in mining, people in the industry, as well as labour, communities, government and other stakeholders, and the broader societal needs for economic growth.
On 22 September 2021, I had an opportunity to present my research project during the 3-day series of the 5th Young Professionals Online Conference – “A Showcase of emerging research and innovation in the minerals industry”, hosted by SAIMM. My presentation outlines and highlights support mechanisms and opportunities of healthcare for mining employees and local communities by mining companies and the government during the Covid-19 pandemic by adopting people-centric initiatives in mining. The tittle of the presentation is “Health-care support for employees and local communities by mining companies during the Covid-19 pandemic, with potential for alignment to Municipal Integrated Development Plans and Mining Social and Labour Plans”. This was part of an ongoing research project, with data presented with a specific focus on South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown ten-month period from March 2020 to December 2020, with further reference to pre-Covid 19 and post-Covid-19 analysis for comparison.
Furthermore, the presentation provides a policy analysis of municipal IDPs and mining SLPs, and various legislative measures that focus on compliance commitments to communities, employee wellbeing and safety from the minerals sector, municipalities, and Covid-19 regulations. The Covid-19 health care support is evident as mining companies have gone beyond SLP compliance by providing communities with, amongst others, food parcels, PPEs, masks, hospital beds, screening facilities, testing of employees who are returning to work and conducted various awareness campaigns.
The findings reveal that there is a significant need to recognise the value that mining companies and the government bring to local communities and employees through healthcare support mechanisms, and if the role played by mining and government within mining communities is ignored, it will have a detrimental impact on communities’ and employees’ health and wellbeing. The impact is likely to create weak linkages with other sectors of the economy for sustainable development at the community level.
On behalf of the Mandela Mining Precinct, I would like to thank the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy for affording me an opportunity to participate at the 05th Young Professionals Online Conference as a Session chairperson and to share a presentation. Thank you to the Mandela Mining Precinct for the opportunity, and a special thanks to Dr Sherin Ramparsad (SATCAP Programme Manager) for the guidance.
A copy of the presentation can be downloaded, click here.
Tshepo Chabalala – CSIR Project Administrator to the Mandela Mining Precinct