Luanda, Angola — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 October 2009 – South Africa’s mining sector has been compelled to shed close to 30 000 jobs due to the global economic downturn, but has been able to avoid greater losses because of measures put in place by the government and the mining companies.
Speaking here during a visit by a South African business delegation, Mines Department director-general Sandile Nogxina also urged mining firms to improve miners’ safety
“If you recall around December last year there was a projection that we would have lost about 150 000 jobs by now,” Nogxina said, “but because of the initiative that we took in December.we have managed to ensure that we have only lost close to about 30,000 jobs,” he told Reuters.
On mine safety, Nogxina said South African mining companies were not doing enough to curb fatalities.
Some 120 mineworkers have died this year, compared with 168 in 2008. “It is unacceptable that people are still dying as a result of mining operations,” he said. “We believe that mining companies can do better than they are doing right now.”
Nogxina said changes to safety legislation would mean hefty fines for deaths due to negligence, but explained that the proposals had yet to be signed into law by President Jacob Zuma.