UK-listed, South African mining group, Anglo American, will provide its workers with free AIDS drugs, in an effort to control the disease and barely a month after accountants in the country called for disclosure of the effects of the disease in annual reports.
According to reports, almost one in four of the company’s 134,000-strong workforce is infected with HIV, the virus which causes AIDS.
Anglo American is negotiating with drug companies to provide the medication, expected to cost between £1.5m and £3m.
South African businesses have been at the forefront of dealing with the AIDS pandemic, with as many as 4.7 million people infected in the country.
Earlier this year, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants called on South African companies to recognise the cost of AIDS on their balance sheets.
It hopes South African businesses will set an example by addressing the problem directly and in this way also ensure that companies are more compelled to help employees that are suffering from the disease.