Press Statement, 31 March 2021
NUM IS DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT FATALITIES AND INJURIES THAT ARE HAPPENING AT NORTHAM PLATINUM MINE
The National Union of Mineworkers is deeply shocked and disturbed by the increasing number of fatalities and injuries that are happening at Northam Platinum Mine. The NUM is also disturbed by mine management's deliberate decision not to report these fatalities and injuries that are happening in their operations.
On 06 March 2021 there was a fatality at Northam Platinum Mine arising from a locomotive accident, again on 27 March 2021 there was another fatality arising from a fall of ground. There is another worker who is critically injured due to fall of ground and is still admitted at Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. The mine management is keeping all these fatalities and injuries secret.
The fatalities and injuries that are happening at Northam Platinum are a result of this company pricing the loss of human life into their business model. They do not care about the mineworker's lives. They only care about profits.
It is unacceptable that mineworkers are denied their basic human right to work in an environment that guarantees their safety and that instead they are expected to go to work to die. We are selling our labour for the survival of our families, not our limbs, and lives.
The NUM strongly believes that drastic action is needed to compel the mining industry to comply with safety standards and procedures. The NUM anticipates that in an effort to do public relations in the wake of its failures, the mining industry would continue with its lip service and propaganda and argue that it is doing more and would continue to do more whilst lamenting on loss of production due to mine closures as a result of fatalities.
As the NUM, we urge the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) which is the regulator to play its role in ensuring that mines are safe and put the safety of the mineworkers as a priority
The union demands an immediate thorough investigation by the DMRE to establish the cause of this incident. We call upon employers to put the lives of mineworkers first so that we can be able to achieve zero harm and zero death in the mining industry.
The fact that there is no improvement in fatal accidents in the mining sector can only be interpreted as a sign of a lack of commitment towards zero harm and zero death by the mining sector.
The NUM sends condolences to the families, friends and fellow workers of the deceased mineworkers. May their souls rest in peace.
Geoff Moatshe, NUM Rustenburg Regional Secretary, 081 593 6089 OR 072 113 6637
Justice Mabaso, Rustenburg Health and Safety Secretary, 066 543 1977 OR 083 394 1822
The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257
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