The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) strongly condemns the behaviour of Sibanye subsidiary, Sibanye Platinum to issue the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) with R26m legal claim following the application of a number of Section 54 closures at Kroondal Platinum Mines last year.
The NUM is of the firm view that Section 54 of the Mine Health and Safety Act was brought to life exactly for the reason that it has contributed to saving lives in the mining industry. Prior to the implementation of 54 people were dying in their hundreds in the mining industry. As a result of the implementation of Section 54, there was a rapid decline of fatalities in the mining industry.
The NUM has observed that since 2008, there has been a consistent decline in the lives lost in the mining industry. In 2015, 77 lives were lost and 2016 76 lives were lost.
Recently with the statistics released where all stakeholders were present, the Chamber of Mines agreed that they are an organisation that respect the rules and laws of this country and they would never go against those laws and rules.
"We are urging the Chamber of mines to intervene as a matter of urgency with its member and to then engage with the Department of Mineral Resources to discuss the elephant in the room rather than dispose of the baby with dirty bath water," said Peter Bailey, NUM Health and Safety Chairperson.
"The NUM unapologetically support section 54 regulation and we would not ask for anybody's permission to defend Section 54 vigorously as the NUM. If it means we must embarrass the industry and its members we will go to that extent. If it means we must collapse the mining industry economy we will do so in defence of the mineworker's lives. We are sick and tired of widows and orphans children left without breadwinners because under the self-regulatory system during the apartheid era the industry could not save lives. In the current democratic dispensation, Section 54 has proven that we could save lives and therefore we will defend this legislation," Bailey added.
The NUM will fight tooth and nail to defend Section 54 and we will fight any mining company that sacrifice mineworkers for profits. The NUM calls on its members and other mineworkers in the mining industry to refuse to work in dangerous conditions.
For more information, please contact:
Peter Bailey: NUM Health and Safety Chairperson: 082 883 7302
Livhuwani Mammburu: NUM National Spokesperson: 083 809 3257
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Twitter: @Num Media