Anglo American said on Thursday it would provide up to $30 million to support the rollout of ovid-19 vaccines across its global operations, with $10 million allocated to assist South Africa in its vaccination efforts.
South Africa, which has recorded the highest number of coronavirus infections and deaths on the African continent at more than 1.4 million cases and over 45 000 deaths, received its first doses of Covid-19 vaccine on Monday.
“The more of us that are vaccinated, the safer we will all be and the more quickly we can help rebuild our economies.” said Anglo American Chief Executive Mark Cutifani.
The company said contributions to other countries where it has operations, including Australia, Brazil, Peru, India, and China, would differ depending on each country’s needs and vaccine deployment model.
In South Africa the funds will be used to assist the government in the purchase of vaccines via the Solidarity Fund, which is a public and private relief fund set up to help fight Covid-19, to support transportation and storage, train community health workers and through the use of its health facilities.
The Minerals Council South Africa, which represents mining firms, offered its financial and logistical assistance after the government called for the private sector to help with the rollout of vaccines.
The cost of the vaccine programme to the industry could be around R300 million ($20 million), the Minerals Council said.
The National Treasury estimates it could cost up to R24 billion to vaccinate South Africa’s target of 40 million people, or two-thirds of the population.
Mining companies say they are well placed to support the Covid-19 response thanks to on-site treatment facilities and decades of experience combating infectious diseases.
Anglo American aims to vaccinate its 45 000 workforce, their families and surrounding communities in South Africa.