The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is shocked to learn of the death of a mine-worker at Impala Platinum's number 20 shaft as a result of rock fall.

“This takes the mining industry fatalities to about 63 fatalities from January 2017 to date,” states Peter Bailey, NUM health and safety chairperson.

“We feel a call for a debate on health and safety by captains of the mining industry, trade unions, and the government is more urgent than ever before to discuss the rate of fatalities and injuries in mines.

“Inspectors must conduct unmanned audits in this mine and workers must refuse to work in an unsafe work environment.

“Our hearts are with the families of the workers who lose their lives under the brutality of rocks in the mines,” he continues.

In a statement issued to media NUM states it is deeply concerned about fatalities happening at Impala Platinum.

“We call on the company to pull up its socks and improve its health and safety system.

“NUM members and other mine-workers are extremely worried about health and safety standards at Impala Platinum mine.

“NUM calls upon the mining companies to invest more money in protecting the lives of workers than focusing more on profits. Mine-workers cannot be sacrificed for profits.

“We call upon the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to trigger its investigation to the cause of this tragic incident and as the NUM, we will participate in the investigation to leave no stone unturned. Those found responsible for negligence must be prosecuted.”

NUM is also of the view that one death in the industry is one death too many … production must not be at the expense of mine-workers’ lives.

“We call on the DMR inspectorate and Minister Mosebenzi Zwane to hold the industry fully accountable for its failures and adopt a no-nonsense approach when it comes to mine deaths.”

NUM would like to convey its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family, colleagues, and friends of the deceased during this difficult time.

Feature image credit: Wikimedia Commons