The company said it was currently operating at 50% capacity and would gradually phase in the return of the labour force.
Mine workers at Harmony Gold mines started to panic after the company issued a notice informing them not to return to work unless recalled by management.
This after some workers had travelled from their homes in far-flung areas following the easing of regulations under level 4 lockdown, allowing some sectors of the economy to function.
The panic was due to the restlessness resulting from some companies that had been contemplating retrenchments due to losses emanating from the lockdown aimed at restricting the spread of the coronavirus.
Employees in different industries have been forced to go on unpaid leave and others made to take pay cuts, while others are facing layoffs, should the situation not improve.
However, Harmony’s group communications manager, Sihle Maake, told The Citizen that none of their workers would lose their jobs.
In an advisory issued yesterday, Harmony advised employees that had not been recalled to return to work to remain at home unless they were advised by their supervisors or human resources managers at their respective shafts.
Harmony has at least nine operations with a total workforce at about 32,000 spread across the mines. The company said it was currently operating at 50% capacity and would gradually phase in the return of the labour force as directed by the department of mineral resources and energy.
Maake said at this stage, everybody was guaranteed their jobs and the phased return was to follow government regulations to ensure the safety and protection of employees against the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“There have been no retrenchments by Harmony and we are not planning any at this stage. We have been ensuring that we retain all our employees,” Maake said.
A return to work action plan has been developed by Harmony to assist with the phased in return of the labour force. The plan was drafted in a way to ensure safety and successful travelling of the recalled employees.
All workers, both local and returning via labour sending centres in their areas, would be required to collect travelling permits at Teba offices or police stations.
They would also be screened, sanitised and given gloves and face masks before boarding their transport. Buses carrying the workers would be sanitised before departure. Taxis and drivers carrying the employees would also undergo the same process.
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