Press statement, 01 March 2019
One death remains one too many
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has noted the release earlier today of the health and safety statistics 2018 by Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe.
So far in the current year 2019, the total number of fatalities reported by all mines is 5 versus 14 that were reported during same period in 2018, this translate to an improvement of 69% year on year.
"For us as the NUM, one death remains one too many. We have noted the figures as released by the Minister. We have also recognized the 10% reduction in fatalities compared to 2017", said NUM Health and Safety Secretary Sipho Mungwe.
Fatalities per commodity in 2018: 40 in the gold sector, 12 in platinum, 9 in coal, with the remainder of commodities accounting for 20 fatalities.
"There is indeed a slide improvement. Once again as the NUM, we call on the Department of Mineral Resources to amend the Mine Health and Safety Act so that it become stricter to mining companies that are violating the act. As it is now, the current Act allows perpetrators to pay fines. We want the to be prosecuted and jailed", said Mungwe.
The NUM also demand the separate inclusion of fatalities of illegal miners in the department's reports going forward.
"We do acknowledge the fact that illegal mining is not a mining activity, rather a criminal activity, but it is important to know what is going on. Lives are being lost day in and day out", said Mungwe.
The NUM is readily available to continue engaging and collaborating through the Mine Health and Safety Council to ensure that all mineworkers return safe unharmed from work every day.
For more information, please contact:
Sipho Mungwe, NUM Health and Safety Secretary 0713259720
Luphert Chilwane, NUM Media Officer 0838093255
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Twitter: @Num Media
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