Cape Town, South Africa — 14 May 2012 – A task team report on the effect of Section 54 safety stoppages at South African mines after fatal accidents has been completed and will be released at a yet-to-be-scheduled industry stakeholder meeting.
“The report is coming out and we think it is sufficient to inform us on how best we cooperate, but I can indicate the key issue is about the extent to which we understand Section 54 as the various stakeholders,” said minister of mineral resources, Susan Shabangu.
Miningmx reports that this followed the release by the Department of Mineral Resources of mine fatality figures for April – the lowest ever according to Shabangu – with three deaths reported during the month. She said this was due to the Mining Inspectorate’s intensified enforcement measures.
Chief inspector of mines, David Msiza, told Miningmx that the number of Section 54 stoppages had decreased significantly at mines where CEO’s had visibly become involved in promoting safety measures. “We believe if CEOs are at the coalface it will send the correct message to employees,” Msiza said.
Meanwhile, court action over a Section 54 stoppage at Northam Platinum has been dropped, according to a company spokesperson.
Northam brought an application for an urgent interdict following a safety audit in March, in which the company was issued a Section 54 notice to close the mine. The Labour Court provisionally ruled in the employer’s favour.
“Post the Section 54 having been set aside both the DMR and Northam’s representatives have agreed to engage constructively to establish a more collaborative approach to enhance safety,” said a company spokesperson.
Source: Miningmx. For more information, click here.