Thursday | 02 April | 2020
By Nico Strydom
The Covid 19 pandemic and South Africa’s 21 days of lockdown mean that those who can, have to work from home while other undertakings have to close or downscale their activities considerably.
Undertakings that can carry on with their activities with employees who work from home and undertakings that supply essential services and goods are not so hard-hit as undertakings and individuals that cannot carry on with their activities at all due to the lockdown.
This is how the Covid-19 pandemic affects the technical occupations:
Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, announced that mining activities will be downscaled considerably, especially deep-level activities, which are labour-intensive. However, essential services that support this sector will continue.
Mines that deliver coal to Eskom will continue their activities but at lower production levels. Production in the gold, chrome, manganese and other sectors will be downscaled, while the processing of surface material in the platinum group of metals sector will continue.
The Minerals Council said that companies can apply to the minister to continue with limited activities. The Council also said that it was investigating whatever would be necessary to prevent the lockdown from causing the industry permanent damage. The Council said that there were mines that would probably not be able to reopen if they had to close completely without rectifying measures.
Roger Baxter, CEO of the Minerals Council, said that the industry was totally committed to cooperating with the government in limiting the spread of Cocvid-19. “At the same time we will try to ensure that mining activities can restart again in a reasonable condition once the lockdown is lifted.”
Trades and engineers
During the 21-days lockdown only essential products and services may be rendered. Undertakings that supply these goods and services will get the permission necessary for continuing their activities. Tradesman who fall in this category will get permission to carry on with their business.
In many sectors certain activities may continue on a smaller scale in order to continue helping with the supply of essential products and services. Therefore, engineers working in sectors that are necessary to supply essential products and services will be able to carry on with their activities to some extent.
Thousands of passenger flights have already been cancelled since the beginning of February due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Owing to the 21-day lockdown announced by Pres Cyril Ramaphosa in terms of which no travelling is allowed, virtually all passenger flights have been cancelled and only air cargo transport is allowed.
Covid-19 complicates existing problems in the aviation industry and certain airlines have already announced that they will have to dismiss employees. According to the international air-transport association IATA Covid-19 could result in up to six million fewer passengers and $1,2 billion rand’s losses for South Africa’s aviation industry.
“The disruption of aviation could also endanger more than 102 000 jobs in the country.”
Department of Mineral Resources and Energy: https://www.dmr.gov.za/
Minerals Council: https://www.mineralscouncil.org.za/
Maroela Media: https://maroelamedia.co.za/nuus/sa-nuus/noodsaaklike-goedere-en-dienste-in-afsonderingstyd/ en https://maroelamedia.co.za/tag/koronavirus/
* All information was correct at the time of publication.