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Phone: +27 (0) 11 377 2198/9
NUM Press Statement, 10 May 2017
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) today marks 22 years of one of the most terrible disasters in the mining industry. On 10th of May 1995, 104 mineworkers were killed as a result of a locomotive falling at the edge of 56 levels, landing on the cage and causing it to plunge 460 metres to the bottom of the shaft. It was history's worst ever elevator disaster.
The disaster resulted in the establishment of the Vaal Reefs Disaster Trust. The NUM and Anglo Gold established a trust to assist and care for the wives and dependents of the deceased. The disaster left 316 children without fathers and 109 widows without husbands.
The blood of these workers gave birth to the Mine Health and Safety Act with health and safety rights in 1996 and started working in 1997.
1. The right to refuse to do dangerous work or withdraw from a dangerous work place without fear of victimisation.
2. The right to education and training.
3. The right to information
4. The right to representation and participation.
The trust that was established is doing well in taking care of the beneficiaries with more than 80 children of the fallen comrades at tertiary level.
"We should remember the lives of those comrades who died so that there should never be a recurrence of such disasters in future," said Erick Gcilitshana, NUM Health and Safety Secretary
“Those heroes might be gone but they are not forgotten. We dedicate the 10th of May every year to remember them. To us as the NUM, the tragedy is a lesson and our believe is that issues of health and safety at the workplace should be top priority,” Gcilitshana added
For more detailed information, please contact:
Erick Gcilitshana: NUM Health and Safety Secretary at 082 809 3105
Livhuwani Mammburu: NUM National Spokesman: 083 809 3257.
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3251