Mining industry vaccinations surpass the 300 000 milestone

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The mining industry continues to move towards a target of an 80% vaccination level.
The mining industry continues to move towards a target of an 80% vaccination level.
Deaan Vivier/Beeld/Gallo Images via Getty Images
  • More than 53% of the mining industry is fully vaccinated and a further 13.3% are partially vaccinated.
  • The sector's vaccination rate is double the national rate as workers prepare to go home for the holidays.
  • Mining companies have drawn on years of experience in effectively treating TB and HIV.  

More than half of South Africa’s mining industry are fully vaccinated as employees prepare to travel home for the December holidays amid warnings of a pending fourth wave of Covid-19 infections. 

With some 240 620 employees accounting for  53.4% of mining workers fully vaccinated, the industry’s vaccination rate is double the national vaccination rate of 23.4%. Another 60 155 of mineworkers accounting for 13.3% of the workforce are partially vaccinated.  

In total, the industry – which employs 450 000 people - has surpassed the 300 000 milestone for fully and partially vaccinated employees and contractors as the year draws to a close.

The industry continues to move toward a target of an 80% vaccination level. Some individual mining companies, like Sibanye-Stillwater, have already reached the 80% mark.

The mining industry started preparing for a vaccine rollout in February this year, using its extensive in-house infrastructure and resources as well as years of experience in effectively treating tuberculosis and HIV.

There are now 75 sites used by mining companies to vaccinate employees, their dependants and community members.

"We have done well in reaching this significant milestone, but we still have some way to go to reach the target we set for ourselves," said Thuthula Balfour, head of health at the Minerals Council.

"It is more important than ever for people to be vaccinated as there are growing concerns that the fourth wave of infections is not far off. It is vital employees are vaccinated before going home for the year-end break to keep themselves, their families and friends safe."

The council said it was however experiencing the same difficulty as government to convince the unvaccinated that that Covid-19 remains a real and present threat and that they should have themselves vaccinated.

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