Gold Fields’ South Deep Gold Mine, located in the Witwatersrand basin, recently reported that just over 90% of its workforce have received their first vaccinations, while 75.5% have been fully vaccinated as part of the mine’s Covid-19 VacciNation programme.
Dr Khutso Setati, Occupational Medical Practitioner at South Deep, notes in particular that the severity of Covid-19 cases have reduced since they started the vaccine roll-out and there is a clear correlation between vaccination statistics and the number of new infections saying, “Since the roll-out of the VacciNation programme, new infections have decreased from a high of 28% in mid-July, to an average of 1% since the beginning of September.” “These results clearly indicate that receiving the vaccine, even if it’s just one dose, significantly reduces the likelihood of contracting Covid-19 as well as the severity of the illness should a person contract the virus,” says Dr Setati. South Deep continues to encourage employees and communities to follow strict Covid-19 protocol such as washing and sanitising hands, wearing masks properly and practicing social distancing. Martin Preece, Executive Vice President: South Africa for Gold Fields, comments: “Over the past three months, absenteeism as a result of Covid-19 decreased from 284 employees in June to nine in September. It is evident that the VacciNation programme has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on our mine as operations have returned to normal. “This is good for safety, our people and our business. We are extremely proud and grateful that so many of our people made the decision to get vaccinated and we encourage those who have yet to be vaccinated to do the same,” he concludes.