“A partnership drive towards supporting the mining industry’s herd immunity goals”
As the country officially enters the Covid-19 4th wave and grappling with the pros and cons of compulsory vaccine mandates, Exxaro Resources today is pleased to announce that it has successfully vaccinated more than 73% of its employees (including contractors).
This success is a result of Exxaro’s on-going partnership with retail pharmacy group Dis-Chem as well as its collaboration with the Department of Health in Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces to vaccinate employees, contractors, and their next of kin for the past year.
Dr Joseph Matjila, Exxaro Group Manager: Health and Safety said, “This exciting achievement is an affirmation of our commitment to protect our employees and their families in line with our Zero Harm policy, which also ensures that we provide access to basic healthcare services in a holistic way.”
More specifically the statistics as of 13 December 2021, show that of the total number of 14 679 employees, Exxaro has vaccinated 10 725 (73,12%). Of the vaccinated individuals, 64% are below the age of 35 years; 38% are between 35 to 49 years; 19% are between 50 to 59 years and 1% are 60 years and above. To this end, the organisations’ operations which are leading are: - in Limpopo Province, Tshikondeni, which has vaccinated 96% of its workforce population, Hlobane has vaccinated 90% of employees, followed by Grootegeluk Complex in Lephalale which is on 81%. And in the Mpumalanga Province, Exxaro’s Matla mine has reached 79% and Belfast has vaccinated 70% of its employees.
Mongezi Veti, Executive Head: Sustainability added, “These are encouraging figures given the global and local trends of vaccinating the majority of young people, where we are currently at 64 % amongst our employee groups. We will continue our drive and contribution for South Africa to achieve the same.”
“We attribute this unique success to our partnerships with the various provincial departments of health where we have mining and renewable energy operations as well as the Minerals Council South Africa (MCSA). Our success relies on active collaboration with stakeholders in our host communities to transform the country for the better, together” he adds.
According to the MCSA, 318 005 vaccinations have been completed in the sector as of 13th December 2021, representing 70% of the industry’s 450 000 employees, among which 83% are fully and 17% partially vaccinated as the sector drives towards achieving its 80% vaccination target.
The industry hit the 200 000-vaccination mark on 23 September 2021 and Exxaro has contributed significantly to achieving the MCSA’s milestones by November 2021.
Dr. Matjila concluded: “For Exxaro this is not the end. The vaccination drives will continue beyond these targets because at the heart of our business decisions is the protection of the lives of our employees and host communities by continuing to invest in economic and social sustainability programmes. This announcement of our successful progress is simply a moment to pause and acknowledge the fulfilment of our company ethos driven by our commitment to the United Nations Social Development Goal 3, regarding ‘Good Health and Well-being’,” he said.