zero harm

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is calling on government to address four main areas of concern that it believes will help reduce the increasing number of fatalities in the South African mining industry.

The four main areas NUM has outlined require review are:

  1. The issue of hours of work in the mining industry as compared to other industries;
  2. Leave days for mine workers;
  3. Set up minimum standards in terms of the distance employees are travelling per shift underground; and
  4. Improve the mode of communication when issuing instructions to employees.

This request follows another fatality in the mining industry which NUM highlights happened at De Beers’ Venetia mine in Limpopo on Sunday night (25 March 2018). A female mineworker was fatally injured when she was working at the plant.

“The NUM is deeply concerned about the incident and strongly condemns a number of fatalities and injuries that are happening in the mining industry,” the organisation declared in a press statement.

“The fatalities and injuries that are happening in the mining industry in South Africa are as a result of the mining companies pricing the loss of human life into their business model. They do not care about the mineworkers' lives. They only care about profits.”

The NUM has sent its condolences to the family of the deceased, the NUM branch at Venetia mine and to all the employees at the mine during this difficult time.

The NUM regional secretary comrade Phillip Mankge will be visiting the mine today. He will be accompanied by a team of regional officials, on a fact-finding mission.

Yesterday Harmony also announced a fatality at its Joel mine following a fall-of-ground.

South Africa’s mining industry is facing enormous challenges at the moment with regards to safety as the number of fatalities continues to steadily increase.

Do you think the NUM's suggestions to improve safety/fatality numbers holds merit? Let us know by posting your thoughts in the comments box below.