Media Statement, 31 January 2023
Make compensation expensive for mining companies that careless about health and safety of mineworkers
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has noted with serious concern the official release of the mine health and safety performance report for the 2022 calendar year by the Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.
In the year 2022 the mining sector has has recorded 49 fatalities versus 74 in the year 2021, and to us as the NUM one death is one too many. This is unacceptable and it has to stop.
It is quite disturbing that the poor mineworkers who are earning peanuts, continue to die like flies in the industry that careless about their sweat and blood. Translating the 49 fatalities, that means 49 breadwinners perished in line of duty.
Our view as the NUM is that some of those deaths could have been completely avoided. We cannot continue with the same triggers of incidents responsible for injuries and fatalities in the mining industry.
South Africa is capable of developing technology that can foretell the fall of ground, seismic events which are most notorious for mining disasters. If we care about human life, the expenses or cost towards procuring such advanced technology should not matter much.
“We must make it very expensive in terms of compensations to families when a mineworker dies underground. With these figures released, we are totally not happy since there is reluctance from the government to prosecute the mining bosses for noncompliance with the Mine Health and Safety Act. Those mining bosses must be charged. Why not hold them accountable when a miner is injured or life is lost in the mines”, said NUM Health and Safety Chairperson Duncan Luvuno.
There will never be any “improvement” in fatality figures for the NUM until there is an end to fatal incidents in the working places. The NUM believes that the health and safety in the workplace must be treated with clear class consciousness.
For more detailed information, please contact:
Duncan Luvuno, NUM Health and Safety Chairperson, 079 957 7801 or 082 335 2250
Masibulele Naki, NUM Health and Safety Secretary, 073 333 7745
The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Cnr Frederick Johannesburg
Tel: 011 377 2111 Cell: 083 809 3257
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