De Beers decided to provide the drugs following its heavy criticism of the South African government’s handling of the pandemic, which is believed to have infected nearly five million people in the country, according to reports.
It also comes after the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants called on companies to include the cost of the disease in their financial reports, and is spearheading a campaign to make it a compulsory listings requirement on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
It is estimated that 12% of De Beer’s 11,000 South African employees have HIV/AIDS. The company will pay 90% of the cost of the treatment, around £1,600, with employees expected to pay the remaining 10%.
Earlier this month Anglo American, which owns a 45% stake in De Beers, announced plans to provide its workforce with HIV/AIDS drugs free of charge.
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