Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba was in Lephalale on Tuesday, 20 July 2021 to launch the COVID-19 vaccination of the miners at Exxaro Mine.

As part of stepping up the fight against COVID-19 in Limpopo province, the Department of Health with Lephalale Municipality and Exxaro as key stakeholder focused on mining as one of the many sectors prioritised for vaccination because of the congregated nature of their work.

The Department says miners are often at more risk of contracting COVID-19 than the general population.

Doing his welcoming, Acting Mayor Ward 1 Cllr William Motlokoa said the initiation was helpful to the communities to realize that the process of vaccination was not to force or fight anyone but was for anyone who is willing to do it.

Motlokoa asked the public to spread the message to communities that couldn’t make it for vaccination, to also avail themselves for vaccination.

General Manager of Exxaro Coal Mine Ronaldt Mafoko said he was happy with the leadership in the province that sees the importance of mining and the economic role they play.

“Thank you to the leadership for championing our drive and standing up for us. This is just what we need and is a testimony that in unity, where we put livelihoods and welfare of our people at the forefront of our intend, we can achieve more.”

Mafoko says Exxaro employs just over 4500 full-time people and with their growth strategy they also have another plus 5000 employees, which compliments over 10 000 full-time and contractors.

Mafoko said the number of infections at Exxaro are high and this is because their number of tests are also high, at 11281 since inception, with 2501 positive cases.

“Currently we have 274 active cases, with 23 recorded in the past 24 hours prior to the vaccination.
The highest we have ever recorded was 143 within 24 hours.

Out of 2501 positive cases, 2215 have recovered and 13 are in hospital.”; said Mafoko.

Over 300 Exxaro employees have vaccinated on Tuesday and Mafoko said soon as they achieve 70%, they will release their resources for others who need them.

Health MEC Dr. Phophi Ramathuba said it was important for her to have her briefing session while doing walk-ins to see for herself the progress.

Ramathuba said she was happy with the work done on the day and with the fact that Exxaro managed to bring their employees in intervals for vaccination while they were on duty.

She proceeded to Ellisras hospital and Lephalale Mall, where there were additional vaccination centers.

Ramathuba and the entourage also did walk-ins in the mall to monitor compliance at the shops.

By end of the day, 942 people were vaccinated.

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