Glencore Coal has been working closely with its social partner Re-Action!, to rollout a community response plan with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. The three pronged approach focuses on awareness and testing, treatment of the infected and support for frontline responders and community resilience post COVID-19, following the establishment of a COVID-19 industry platform for information sharing and collaboration by the Mineral’s Council South Africa.
Glencore has reached out to the Department of Health on a provincial and district level to understand and support the needs to fight this pandemic. Due to our presence within the three local municipalities (Steve Tshwete, Emakhazeni and Emalahleni) in Mpumalanga, we continue to engage with local government while our community structures lend support during this difficult period.
“Through our social partner and our community representatives, we have engaged with provincial, district and local government to ensure a fully co-ordinated and centralised approach to the covid-19 pandemic. This will ensure that the correct resources are acquired and distributed through the correct channels to the most vulnerable communities.” – said noel pillay, general manager for community and regulatory affairs at glencore coal.
Through this initiative Glencore aims to:
- Slow and stop transmission, prevent outbreaks, and delay the spread of Covid-19;
- Provide optimised care for COVID 19 patients, especially the seriously ill;
- Assist in minimising the impact of the pandemic on health systems, social services, and economic activity.
- Implement Community Resilience interventions within our communities post the pandemic.
To make this possible, Glencore’s approach is to closely examine and study the data of the COVID-19 cases at sub-district level in order to pinpoint the specific areas where people have contracted the virus and to also analyse any other pre-existing health issues which may be present in these communities. This will be done by a Public Health Epidemiologist that is highly experienced in the health sector.
Furthermore, Glencore aims to support local municipalities to address other challenges such as the provision of water and food hampers for the homeless and indigent families.
Thus far, Glencore has distributed information posters and videos on the Covid-19 pandemic and donated bulk quantities of sanitizers and soaps, masks, infrared thermometers and protective body wear to the Department of Health and to SASSA for use at their pay points within Glencore’s host communities. Glencore has provided jojo tanks to the eMalahleni municipality and is supporting the Nkangala District Department of Health with screenings, to date, 698 households with 2457 people have been screened.
Glencore has also temporarily increased its 19 hotspot sites in Middelburg, eMalahleni and Emakhazeni from 500MB to 1GB per user per day. In addition, a further 10 hotspots will be installed in eMalahleni. This will support the Ligbron e-learning live streaming lessons and enable Grade 11 and 12 learners to access these lessons on their computers, cellphones or tablets.
The aim of Glencore’s community response plan is to ensure that our host communities are more equipped to deal with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.