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Mining firms cushion locals from COVID-19

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Glencore South Africa
Glencore South Africa

by ANNA NTABANE
MBOMBELA, (Mpumalanga Guardian) – A MAJOR mining firm and commodities company have pledged R23 million (US$1,3 million) to assist local communities distressed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Glencore has through this gesture responded to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for corporate in the country to play an active role in aiding affected households.

The contribution is a joint effort between Glencore South Africa’s major businesses, Coal South Africa, and Ferroalloys, which adapted their existing social investment programmes to address the changing social needs of communities due to COVID-19.

“As our host communities continue to deal with challenges raised by this pandemic, ad true to our ethos of progressing together, it remains our priority to assist with initiatives that truly make a difference to their lives,” Murray Houston, Chief Executive Officer of Glencore Coal South Africa, said.

The official noted many of Glencore’s operations were located in remote areas with limited public health care systems.

With COVID-19 an even a greater threat to such communities, the company is working closely with local municipalities and government departments to identify key needs in each community.

“We are very proud of the effort we have carried out so far and over the next few months we will continue to roll out more initiatives together with our partners to help our communities through this pandemic,” said Houston.

Funding has been contributed to various initiatives which include; the provision of screening and testing in communities, the supply of water tanks in water-scarce communities, access to e-Learning programmes to support learners while schools remain closed, mass fabric mask production and distribution, supply of food aid, distribution of sanitisers and infrared thermometers.

Houston lamented the COVID-19 pandemic as an unprecedented challenge for South Africans and the world.

South Africa has confirmed 577 deaths and a total of 27 403 cases.

Globally, 364 523 deaths had been confirmed from 5, 976 million cases.

“As a responsible operator, Glencore continues to draw inspiration from its values of openness, integrity, safety, responsibility and entrepreneurialism to help combat the further spread of this pandemic while protecting the safety and health of our dedicated workforce and host communities” Houston concluded.