South Africa plans to relax lockdown as mines re-open

( April 24, 2020)

Sibanye-Stillwater warned that the output of South Africa's mines would decline after the mine closed.

Reuters on Wednesday saw the country ’s new locking rules, categorizing industries into five categories and opening up access to each industry based on Covid-19 ’s development. The aim is to adopt a more flexible response to the pandemic, allowing certain sectors to continue to work to prevent overall economic stagnation, while other high-risk industries continue to adopt isolation measures. The authorities imposed a 21-day lock-in on March 26. This lock-up period has been extended to the end of April and has had a significant impact on the country ’s industrial output. For example, between March 24 and April 6, South Africa ’s port of Durban reduced its receipts by nearly 40%, and the mining industry was particularly hit. The Bushmet Mining Company ’s Vametco and Vanchem mines The shutdown has hindered the supply of minerals.

Bushveld produces approximately 3,000 tons of vanadium per year, and the decline in output from certain mines in the country has caught the attention of South African mining companies. The news was announced last week after the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe announced that it would allow most of the country ’s mining operations to resume operations at 50% of the production capacity during the lock-in period The latest move to resume production in the country ’s industrial sector. Mantashe announced that South African mines will maintain high standards of safety and conduct regular tests on workers to monitor and limit the spread of Covid-19 among miners.

The government ’s goal was to resume work in mid-May, but the move towards this goal was opposed by the department. The influential association of miners and construction trade unions believes that the essence of mining is that employees often work in narrow places and use small lifts that are not sufficiently isolated from society for transportation, which means that returning to work early is a major risk. The union said: "No one wants life to return to normal, but not at the expense of life." "AMCU cannot allow its members to report their responsibilities without being familiar with any framework or expansion plan, and there is no guarantee that their members are safe. "This decision is unreasonable and unconstitutional."