31 August 2020
Monametse Village, Atok
Story by Gilbert Moela
The pandemic is first and foremost a health crisis, with countries increasing their
health spending budgets. With respect to
mining, many governments have established
strict rules as a condition for workers to return to work however they have not extended those strict rules to communities affected by mining.
In small mining affected communities like Monametse Village in Limpopo Province, the unknown effect of Covid-19 has left many community members with unanswered questions and concerns. While mines arguably have the capabilities to manage the requirements regarding employee health including screening, testing and quarantine facilities which they claim they have extended to communities affected by their operations, Monametse Village is yet to see and or receive any assistance from the mine in terms of screening, testing and contact tracing processes.
Although amongst the residents there is a big confusion within the community there are those who believe that as a regulatory process the mine must and should ensure that not only the safety and well-being of their employees is considered. They believe that they’re part of the sector and therefore they should receive the same treatment as mining.