Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe met with the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) and the Minerals Council South Africa on March 24 to consolidate plans to deal with the impact of Covid-19.
The meeting follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on the evening of March 23 of a national lockdown for 21 days.
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, in collaboration with the petroleum and mining industries, is developing a framework of practical steps to execute the national lockdown.
The framework will be presented to the meeting of the National Command Council.
While a timeframe on when this will be done was not provided in the statement on March 24, the statement did, however, explain that the framework will include plans to ensure, among others, the security of energy supply to support critical and essential services.
“The primary objective remains that of protecting the lives of people working in these industries, while ensuring that critical sectors of the economy are able to continue with essential services, and to put in place plans to ensure that beyond the lock down, they are able to quickly restart production to support the economy,” the statement elaborated.
The department indicated that it will soon meet with labour unions in these industries.