A medic introduces the procedure of COVID-19 testing to citizens in Johannesburg, South Africa, April 8, 2020. The number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa has risen steadily over the past fews days amid massive community testing in a 21-day national lockdown. The country reported a total of 1,749 cases as of Tuesday, an increase of over 60 from Monday's announcement, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said. (Photo by Shiraaz/Xinhua)
A medic introduces the procedure of COVID-19 testing to citizens in Johannesburg, South Africa, April 8, 2020. The number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa has risen steadily over the past fews days amid massive community testing in a 21-day national lockdown. The country reported a total of 1,749 cases as of Tuesday, an increase of over 60 from Monday's announcement, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said. (Photo by Shiraaz/Xinhua)

The Minerals Council of South Africa on Friday pledged to work with government, business and labor to vaccinate the people against COVID-19.

The Minerals Council said the board unanimously agreed to support a government-led COVID-19 vaccine roll-out program which they believed is a crucial way to fight against COVID-19 and save lives and livelihoods.

“There was unanimous support by board members to support the urgent roll-out of the vaccine according the principles of clinical risk and societal impact, with a clear intention of ensuring that, as the vaccine becomes more freely available that mining employees and mining communities are able to access vaccines in line with their risk profiles and as quickly as is possible,” said Minerals Council President Mxolisi Mgojo.

The Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter said they are aware of the healthcare challenges and willing to assist in the vaccine roll-out. He said the industry can play a material role in accelerating the vaccination program on mines and in mining communities.

“This is a critical national effort. We are now aware that government is not only seeing the urgent securing of a vaccine as a national priority, but also recognizes that it is government’s responsibility at a public health care level to guarantee the funding,” he said.

“The mining sector in particular, can play a major role in the end-to-end planning and roll-out of the vaccine program to assist government and the nation. Cooperative partnerships and urgency are key,” Baxter said.

He called on the government to speed up the bilateral negotiations with international suppliers and develop the systems and infrastructure to effectively, quickly and transparently implement the roll-out program. Enditem

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