The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) North East Region branch, in Limpopo, has called for a temporary closure of all mines in the province, but still wants mining companies to pay their workers in full.
This follows after two mines near Burgersfort recorded a number of positive Covid-19 cases.
The first mine to report positive cases of the virus was Impala Platinum’s Marula mine, with 19 cases confirmed at the weekend.
The second mine was Assore’s Dwarsriver chrome mine, which reported 30 positive Covid-19 cases on May 19.
The NUM is now calling for the Limpopo authorities to review the state of the Fetakgomo Tubatse municipality and to return it to a Level 5 lockdown.
The union states that African Rainbow Minerals’ Modikwa platinum mine has also recorded one case of Covid-19.
“[The] NUM is not in favour of the blanket approach that has been granted by the Mineral Resources and Energy Minister. We argue that each mine should have been given a directive to put measures in place first and be granted permission to restart only when all measures are in place," says NUM North East regional secretary Phillip Mankge.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union had on May 18 also called for the universal testing of all mineworkers.