The South African DMR Minister, Gwede Mantashe, has condemned the recent mining accident that occurred at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Kloof Ikamva shaft, 11 June 2018.
The Minister further called on the industry to strengthen safety measures.
This is the seventh accident leading to fatalities at the Sibanye-Stillwater operations, making the company the biggest contributor to fatalities in the sector since the beginning of the year.
“It is a great concern to us that this accident has occurred soon after the disaster at the company’s Driefontein operations just a month ago,” says the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) Minister.
“Health and safety of mineworkers and communities must receive our sharpest and special attention,” the Minister continued
“It is the primary responsibility of every employer to provide a safe working space for its workers. As the DMR, we have a responsibility of enforcing the laws governing health and safety. Workers fought for the right to refuse to work in dangerous conditions, a right now contained in Section 23(1) of the Mine Health and Safety Act, and this right must be enforced.
“On behalf of the DMR, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the deceased mineworkers.”
Five employees had entered an abandoned working place the mine from where the bodies of three employees were retrieved.
Mine rescue teams then located the deceased body of the fourth missing employee in the abandoned stope ore pass.
Specialised proto teams have been working tireslessly to locate and retrieve the employee but it is currently uncertain how long the retrieval process will take.
The search for the fifth employee continues and further updates will be issued when more information becomes available.