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Press Statement, 2 September 2021
NUM calls on the mines and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) to act now to stop fatalities in the mines
The National Union of Mineworkers NUM) is deeply shocked and saddened by the death of a mineworker at Two Rivers Mine yesterday morning around 10 am. Two Rivers is situated in Limpopo next to Steelpoort town.
The cause of the incident is still unknown, however, we can confirm that the incidents happened as a result of a fall of ground (FOG) which killed the miner immediately.
NUM North East Regional Secretary Phillip Mankge and other union officials visited the mine to establish a possible cause of the incident around 3 pm yesterday.
"We can confirm and have observed that the mine management does not take the issue of fatality in a serious light because by 4 pm yesterday no formal communication had been issued to the employees about the incident. The General manager of the company Mr Johan Joubert did not bother to address the union about the incident and this displays the arrogance level of the company and how they view the union and its members. The most disturbing part is how they don’t care about the safety of their employees," said. Phillip Mankge, NUM North East Regional Secretary.
"NUM rejects the claim made by the company late yesterday that they do not know what is the cause of that incident. NUM calls on the management not to play hide and seek around the death of a human being, instead, the company should take responsibility for a system failure. NUM is saying enough is enough about fatalities in the mining industry this calls for serious action from the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy (DMRE) to issue S54 of Mine Health and Safety Act 29 of 1996. Section 54 gives inspectors powers to deal with dangerous conditions in the mine. After they have accessed the mine working environment, the inspector can decide to stop a section or the whole mine. Section 55 ensures that a mine complies with the MHS Act and regulations. When an inspector gives an instruction, the mine is informed that they need to comply within a specified period. Section 55D deals with administrative fines and the maximum amount per fine is R1 million per transgression. If a mining company has had more than one transgression then it can receive multiple fines.
"The NUM calls upon the DMRE to stop this barbaric act by Two Rivers management and issue the whole mine with a section 54 and immediately take away certificate from the General Manager of that mine and that of the Safety Manager and issue a heavy mine to the mine for disregard of the Health and Safety act. The NUM was pleased by a quick response from the South African police services whilst the DMRE as the regulator was still asking for direction from the company. NUM will be visiting the site again to continue with the on loco inspection and to deeply find out the route cause of the incident. 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," Mankge said.
The NUM would like to convey its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families, colleagues, and friends of the deceased during this difficult time.
For more information, please contact
Phillip Mankge, NUM North East Regional Secretary, 076 053 3401
The National Union of Mineworkers7 Rissik Street.Cnr Frederick JohannesburgTel: 011 377 2111 Cell: 083 809 3257Twitter: @Num_Media