With only three months remaining in 2019, South Africa’s mining industry is on track to achieve the lowest number of fatalities in recorded history – having recorded 35 fatalities for 2019, as at 23 September 2019 – a marked improvement on the 81 fatalities suffered in 2018.
The update on how the country’s mining industry is tracking in terms of its safety statistics was announced earlier this week by the Minerals Council South Africa at the launch of its Khumbul’ekhaya initiative – a CEO-led strategy on health and safety, developed and led by the Minerals Council CEO Zero Harm Forum.
The aim of Khumbul’ekhaya is to drive and sustain the mining industry’s pursuit of Zero Harm, with a particular emphasis on eliminating fatalities as was borne out of the increase in fatalities in 2017 – the first regression in a decade – which resulted in deep introspection among CEOs.
The emphasis on achieving Zero Harm in South Africa’s mining industry was iterated at Day 1 of the Joburg Indaba by Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo, who is also the president of the Minerals Council South Africa.
Mgojo noted the almost uninterrupted improving trend since the advent of the democratic era, in which time the number of deaths due to mining accidents fell by 87% from 1993 to 2018, and the fatality rate (measured in relation to the number of hours worked) by 80%. The 35 deaths reported in 2019 to date, compares with 63 in the same period the previous year.
He said that the @Mine_RSA through the Khumbul’ekhaya strategy is unwavering in its determination to eliminate fatalities in South Africa's mining industry.