Contributions made by the Petra Hardship Fund were distributed in partnership with the lead Government relief agencies for each of our affected communities and supported a variety of initiatives. These included the supply of PPE and other COVID-19 prevention equipment such as thermal scanners and sanitisers to local clinics and schools, as well as the provision of protective masks to community members, healthcare workers and members of the police force.
Additional support was also offered to local healthcare workers and clinics by donating gazebos and chairs as well as screening facilities to assist with the testing and screening of community members.
An example of one of these initiatives is that of a number of employees from the Finsch mine who recently graduated from Petra’s Portable Skills training programme, having completed a course in Sewing skills. Alongside volunteers from the community, our employees made facemasks for local community members.
Some of these masks were donated to the Lime Acres SAPS. The mine’s General Manager Ntokozo Ngema said “We are extremely thankful for the hard work done by our employees on the mask project and I am proud to assist the members from our local SAPS branch on behalf of Petra Diamonds.”
To address the critical issue of food security, over 5,000 food parcels were distributed to vulnerable community members through recognised community structures, and blankets were also distributed to some communities to combat the cold winter conditions.
At the Cullinan mine, one such initiative was the mine’s work with the City of Tshwane to distribute food parcels to the most vulnerable groups within the Refilwe community. The parcels were distributed with strict adherence to COVID-19 safety regulations and measures set out by the SA government.
The parcels included a variety of well-balanced food items to cater for a family of six for approximately two weeks.
Following the outbreak of COIVD-19 the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa recommended that South Africans receive flu vaccinations ahead of the influenza season.
The Finsch mine therefore decided to extend its 2020 Winter Wellness Campaign, as part of which it provides flu vaccines at no cost to employees and contract employees, to the vulnerable communities of Lime Acres.
Finsch’ s General Manager, Ntokozo Ngema, and a Local Councillor joined a lead doctor and her team from the Finsch Mine Occupational Health Centre, visiting several elderly residents to provide them with the flu vaccine. The team also provided them with vitamins to help boost their immune systems for the upcoming winter season.
The COVID-19 worldwide pandemic has seen an exponential increase in demand for cloth face masks, as one of the key steps to protect yourself and others from transmission of the disease.
The Koffiefontein mine played its part in helping to meet this demand by identifying four local companies that could assist with the manufacturing of masks for mine employees and the local community.
One of the companies, Boipelo’s New Beginnings (Pty) Ltd, is owned by Georgina Molakeng who was born in Koffiefontein and is part of the mine’s Enterprise and Supplier Development Programme, which focuses on the development of local youth in the community. She now works alongside her mother, Elizabeth Molakeng, who is a well-known skilled, but retired, seamstress.
Georgina sourced employees from within the community in order to fulfil the orders placed and skills have been effectively transferred to unskilled seamstresses.
Although the business is a start-up, Georgina has been supported by the Business Accelerator Courses offered by the Koffiefontein mine during October 2019 and is putting her enterprise skills to good use now.
Koffiefontein’s ESD programme also assisted Georgina to obtain the necessary statutory compliance documentation, which is required to become a Petra Diamonds Supplier and in line with Petra’s Supply Chain Policy.