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Press statement, 12 October 2018
NUM is deeply worried about the fatality that happened at Lethabo Power Station
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is deeply saddened and shocked by the fatal incident that happened at Unit 5 of the Lethabo Power Station where one worker who is an NUM lost his life at the scene of this shocking incident, whilst one other employee, also an NUM member is said to be in a critical condition at the hospital.
"This incident comes after the recent fatality that could have been avoided at Kusile Power Station where one of the Eskom contractors lost his life due to the storage equipment that fell on him," said Duncan Luvuno, NUM Health and Safety Chairperson.
"This is becoming a trend which should be deemed as the wake-up call for Eskom management. They should stop arrogance and engage organised labour as partners in leadership and seek lasting sustainable solutions. We are however going to allow the enquiry to give us answers of what really happened," Luvuno added.
NUM is concerned with the rising number of fatalities in all three sectors where it is organizing namely, mining, energy, and construction, and it cannot be accepted that workers wake up and go to work with the hope of improving their living conditions, but only to pay with their lives.
The NUM national leadership and region accompanied by the branch visited the company yesterday and engaged with the senior management of Eskom led by the CEO and Lethabo Management where a briefing was received on the incident that occurred and processes that were unfolding. Our heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased member, his colleagues, Eskom Lethabo family and all those who were close to him. We further pledge our sincere and unwavering support to the family of an employee who is receiving attention at the Hospital and we will ensure that the company does not pay lip service to these families about the support it committed during our meeting.
Whilst we appreciate the spirit of cooperation by the company during our meeting, NUM believes there is a lot of improvement that should take place pertaining to seriousness in which Eskom takes stakeholders like trade unions on matters such as these, and NUM will engage in vigorous engagements with the company to ensure that trade unions are treated with respect when participating in such important activities. We agreed yesterday as parties that employees should be released at 14h30 to go back home and we will monitor what will happen going forward.
NUM is however dismayed by the intransigent attitude of the Department of Labour inspectors who refused to sit with trade unions in the same room after conducting a preliminary investigation. This behaviour is most regressive and not assisting our relationship with the Department. We are calling on the Department of Labour inspectors to do a thorough investigation and get to the bottom of what happened.
We are equally disturbed by the casual manner in which the Minister of Public Enterprise reacted in this shocking incident. We expected the shareholder to be personally there at Lethabo yesterday. We hope the working relations will improve going forward between the NUM and the employer for the benefit of our members.
For more information, please contact:
Duncan Luvuno: NUM Health and Safety Chairperson: 082 335 2250Ndlela Radebe: NUM PWV Regional Chairperson: 071 871 5859
The National Union of Mineworkers 7 Rissik Street. Cnr Frederick Johannesburg Tel: 011 377 2111 Cell: 083 809 3257 Web: www.num.org.za<http://www.num.org.za> Twitter: @Num_Media Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NUM/100860023402167