Glencore food parcels ready to be distributed. Image credit Glencore

Mining giant Glencore in South Africa has responded to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for corporates in the country to play an active role in assisting distressed communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company will donate over R23 million in funding, goods, as well as services to communities across the country in response to some of the societal needs that have risen during the lockdown period.

The contribution is a joint effort between Glencore South Africa’s two major businesses, Coal South Africa and Ferroalloys who adapted their existing social investment programmes to address the changing social needs of communities due to COVID-19. Many of Glencore’s operations are located in remote areas with limited public health care systems and with COVID-19 being an even greater threat to such communities, the company continues to work closely with local municipalities and government departments to identify the key needs in each community and provide the most effective response.

“As our host communities continue to deal with challenges raised by this pandemic, and true to our ethos of progressing together, it remains our priority to assist with initiatives that truly make a difference to their lives. We are very proud of the efforts we have carried out so far and over the next few months we will continue to roll out more initiatives together with our partners to help our communities through this pandemic.” said Murray Houston, CEO, Glencore Coal, South Africa.

Funding has been contributed to various initiatives which include; the provision of screening and testing in communities, the supply of water tanks in water scarce communities, access to e-Learning programmes to support learners while schools remain closed, mass fabric mask production and distribution, supply of food aid, mass distribution of sanitizers and infrared thermometers, mobile toilets and the roll out of Wi-Fi hotspots to name a few. In addition to this, Glencore has also made provision of hospital equipment such as extra beds and protective personal equipment for health workers in order to assist local hospitals and clinics to be able to provide adequate healthcare to those who are affected by the pandemic.

Glencore donates Jojo tanks to Emalahleni communities. Image credit Glencore

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected South Africans from all walks of life and we have made major commitments to help boost government’s efforts and ease the pressure felt by citizens during this tough period. Now more than ever our communities need access to necessities such as clean water, hygiene products and medical equipment to protect them from infection and we will continue to do our part to provide these amenities where possible.” said Glencore Ferroalloys CEO, Japie Fullard.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented challenge not just for South Africans but the world at large, and as a responsible operator, Glencore continues to draw inspiration from its values of openness, integrity, safety, responsibility and entrepreneurialism to help combat the further spread of this pandemic while protecting the safety and health of our dedicated workforce and our host communities.