South Africa worried about increasing number of accidents in mines
The statement came after a mine shaft in Mpumalanga collapsed. The accident involved about 90 workers.
“Although we appreciate a swift rescue of most of those workers, we remain worried about the missing three. Our strong view is that accidents of this nature should not happen in the first place,” said Mr Sahlulele Luzipo, Chairperson of the Committee.
This accident reaffirms the Committee’s long-held belief that drastic measures in the form of legislation should be considered as in the case with road safety laws.
Mr Luzipo added that it was unacceptable that ordinary workers, most of whom are Africans from destitute background, leave their families to go to work and only to come back injured or dead.
“Workers go to work in order to put bread on the table for their families and contribute to the growth of the economy, hence we do not expect them to come back dead or injured as if they had gone to the war.”
The Committee is concerned that while the industry is faced with looming job cuts due to low commodity prizes and other related matters, there seem to be a competing challenge in the form of mine safety which is avoidable.
However, the Committee acknowledges speedy intervention by the Minister of the Department of Mineral Resources and will convene a meeting to engage with the Minister and industry to hear what steps will be taken to ensure zero harm in the future. ■