- Royal Bafokeng Platinum says its workplace vaccination will ensure that employees receive Covid-19 vaccines timeously.
- A total of 521 mineworkers have so far died from Covid-19-related complications.
- Several mining houses are already operating workplace-based vaccination sites.
Royal Bafokeng Platinum said on Thursday it had begun administering Covid-19 vaccines to employees at its Maseve Clinic in Rustenburg, after it was accredited by the Department of Health.
The company joins several mining firms that are currently running workplace inoculation sites, in what is expected to speed up the rollout of vaccines among employees of the key sector. Impala Platinum, Sibanye-Stillwater and Harmony are among the mining houses already conducting inoculations, in line with government protocols.
"We plan to roll out the vaccine to our approximately 10 000 employees and permanent contractors ... at this stage, we are targeting at least 200 employees per day and will review this number as we progress," the company said in a statement.
South Africa is currently experiencing a third wave of coronavirus infections.
The platinum producer said its Maseve Clinic had been refurbished to include new ablution facilities, a secure pharmacy area, provision of emergency power supply, cold storage facilities, as well as waste handling ahead of its approval by health authorities as a vaccination site.
Royal Bafokeng Platinum chief executive Steve Phiri said the vaccination site would ensure that "employees receive both the doses of their vaccines timeously, and vaccinations can be scheduled with minimal disruption to the operations".
"Hopefully we can also extend this to our communities and the dependents of our employees in the near future," said Phiri.
According to the Minerals Council of South Africa, a total of 521 employees in the mining sector had died from Covid-19 complications to date. The number of employees and contractors already vaccinated stands at 23 470.
In February, Anglo American revealed that it would provide up to $30 million to support the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines across its global operations, with $10 million put aside to assist South Africa in its vaccination efforts.