There have been 73 deaths due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the mining sector as of Monday, Mine Health and Safety Council chief executive officer Thabo Dube said on Tuesday.
Briefing the select committee on land reform, environment, mineral resources and energy, Dube said 7 953 miners have tested positive for the coronavirus, 4 149 have recovered and 3 731 were still infected.
He told the MPs there were 385 mines that accounted for 428 154 employees.
Dube, who indicated the statistics were from the Minerals Council of South Africa, said 315 134 employees have been screened and 33 580 tested to date.
MPs wanted to know the breakdown of the infections and deaths per province and municipal areas, among others.
They were also concerned with the number of miners screened and those actually tested.
Dube said they have not done analysis of the data from the Mineral Council of South Africa but they would provide the committee with the requested information.
He also said the council, an advisory body to Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, has reviewed its annual performance plan and adjusted its budget to include measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
Dube said they have developed principles and guidelines for the prevention, mitigation and management of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Notices and guidelines were communicated via the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy and guidelines promulgated.
He also said a Covid-19 audit tool has been developed and has been disseminated to all the regional offices for implementation.
“The total number of mine inspections and audits that have been conducted as at the end of June 2020 was 1 681,” said Dube.
“Enforcement measures were taken where necessary by the inspectors to order compliance with the provision of the Mine Health Safety Act,” he said.
The council’s chairperson David Msiza said they have issued 161 Section 154 instructions to mines when inspectors found serious violation and dangerous conditions and stopped part or the entire mine.
Msiza also said they have issued 51 Section 155 instructions where there were lesser transgressions that were not life-threatening situations.
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