“Keeping the lights on”
Johannesburg, 1 April 2020: Seriti Coal advises that its three mines, New Vaal Colliery, New Denmark Colliery and Kriel Colliery, are continuing to operate during the lock-down period to ensure that the three power stations they service continue to deliver power to the national grid. These mines deliver approximately 24Mtpa of thermal coal to Eskom’s Lethabo, Tutuka and Kriel power stations, which collectively generate about 23% of the country’s electricity. Of the 6,000 employees working at these mines, around 3,800 people will continue working during this period. Where at all possible, employees are working remotely.
CEO Mike Teke says: “Seriti Coal has plans in place to manage the risks associated with this pandemic and takes very seriously our responsibility to our employees. Together, with our employees, organised labour and the support of the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy, we are making every effort to ensure that our employees are informed about how to prevent infection, to respond rapidly and responsibly in the event that they become ill, and how to protect themselves, their families and fellow workers in this trying time. At the same time, we are very proud to be able to contribute to the national interest of keeping the lights on, and we salute our employees and union partners that make this happen”.
Seriti’s coronavirus preparedness plan focuses on the following measures:
- Educating and informing: promoting hand and respiratory hygiene amongst employees; providing facemasks to those who show respiratory symptoms of influenza; practising social/physical distancing by keeping adequate staff ratios; providing masks to those who use pool travel arrangements; using proper signage and communicating with staff and visitors at health centres; and observing cleaning and disinfection procedures.
- Early identification and rapid response: identifying and isolating suspected cases early on, including those who have travelled recently or have had contact with people diagnosed with the virus. Thermal scanners will be used at all shifts to scan all employees and contractors coming to work.
- Minimising risk of transmission at work: providing adequate and appropriate PPE (gloves, masks, hand sanitisers, goggles and disposable aprons) to employees at risk. Non-essential services employees are working from home as part of a flexible work arrangement during the pandemic.
- Health care worker safety: Healthcare personnel and first responders have been trained to adhere to standard, contact, and airborne precautions, including the use of eye protection (goggles or a face shield).
- Pandemic supply chain co-ordination: We anticipate shortages of essential goods amid panic buying and reduced supplies, and possible interruption of essential services. We are reviewing our PPE inventory, supply chain and utilisation rate to ensure that Seriti Coal has access to crucial supplies.
- Travel restrictions: limiting non-essential travel to affected areas and maintaining a risk register of persons who have travelled.
- Integrated incident management team: we have established an integrated incident management team for a concerted coordinated response to define priorities and time frames. The team maintain situational awareness, provide incident summary, incidents debriefing and flag incidences with potential lasting implications.
- Business Impact Analysis (monitoring and analysis): identifying, quantifying and qualifying the business impact of a loss, interruption or disruption of business processes and providing the data from which appropriate continuity strategies can be determined.
- Technical expertise and guidance: NICD (National Institute of Communicable Disease) provides basis for technical guidance in surveillance, diagnosis and response guideline to the pandemic.
- Communication and reporting: establishing systems for sharing information with key partners and stakeholders.
Notes to editors:
Seriti Coal is a broad-based, 91% black-owned and controlled coal mining company. Seriti, through its operating subsidiary, Seriti Coal Pty Ltd, currently operates three large-scale, opencast and underground thermal coal mines, the New Vaal, New Denmark and Kriel Colliery’s, which it acquired from Anglo American, as well as various life extension coal resources and closed collieries. Together with its partners, Seriti Coal intends to develop its New Largo project into a large-scale, opencast coal mine capable of providing the base load fuel requirements for Kusile Power Station.
Seriti is co-owned by four anchor shareholders – Masimong Group Holdings (Masimong), Community Investment Holdings (CIH), Zungu Investments (Zico) and Thebe Investment Corporation (Thebe). It is Seriti’s philosophy that 10% of the equity in its mining operations be ring-fenced equally for the benefit of employees and communities through established unencumbered employee and community trusts.
As a responsible South African coal miner, Seriti has a proven track record in the acquisition, operation and development of large-scale opencast and underground coal mines. Guided by experienced board and management teams, Seriti maintains a principle focus on its long-term commitment to the domestic market and, in particular, the reliable and cost effective provision of coal to Eskom.
Refer to the Minerals Council Position on COVID-19