NUMSA flags safety after death of miners

07 February 2018 - 18:00 By Timeslive
The Sibanye Stillwater mine.
The Sibanye Stillwater mine.
Image: Sibanye Mines

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has repeated its concerns over the safety of workers underground.

Two workers died in the early hours of Wednesday morning after a “fall of ground” at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Kloof operation attributed to seismic activity in Gauteng.

“This is the second incident affecting workers safety this month at Sibanye mines. Last week‚ more than 950 employees were left stranded underground at one of its mines in the Free State when a severe storm resulted in electricity supply being cut‚ trapping the workers underground. To date Sibanye has not properly explained why its generators failed to kick in‚” said the union in a statement.

“It is important to note that these deaths are happening as the global elites in the mining industry are gathered at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town‚ to discuss more ways to exploit workers and pillage the country of its natural resources. The death toll in the South African mining industry remains shockingly high‚ with at least 81 people killed in 2017 alone‚” said the union.

NUMSA called for a shut-down of operations at Sibanye in the Free State last week until workers’ safety could be guaranteed. “We repeat the call that Sibanye-Stillwater should not be allowed to operate until the safety of workers can be guaranteed‚” said NUMSA.