Death of 19 workers at mines owned by JSE listed miner, Sibanye-Stillwater, just within the first six months of 2018, has, once again, raised concerns about. In a recent accident involving the same mining company, four mineworkers are reported to have died from heat exhaustion at the Kloof Ikamva shaft, near Westonaria on Monday.
The frequency of the accidents affecting Sibanye-Stillwater that is well-resourced to have safety measures in place has unions and occupational health and safety analysts alike worried.
Viewing the accidents at Sibanye’s mines as symptomatic of a general state of negligence in the sector, mining unions are urging Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe, and President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene, according to Times Live.
Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) President, Joseph Mathunjwa, does not sound confident that the situation can be salvaged. “As it stands, I don’t think there’s anything that will ever be corrected. I think it’s a systematic failure of the mine,” he says.
AMCU believes is it high time Ramaphosa got involved and the Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA) to be amended to give more power to workers and trade unions to address safety issues‚ in order to counter the power of mining bosses
The NUM’s Livhuwani Mammburu believes Sibanye-Still water should face the might of the law. “We call on the Minister of Mineral Resources to act hard on Sibanye-Stillwater because there have been a number of mining incidents that have been happening at this company and there doesn’t seem to be an end.”