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Mantashe, Sibanye to discuss spate of deadly incidents

Mineral Resources director-general Thabo Mokoena says according to the Mine and Health Safety Act, workers have the right to refuse to go underground if they feel they will be exposed to danger.

FILE: Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe will soon meet with Sibanye Gold to discuss the spate of deadly incidents at its mines.

Mineral Resources director-general Thabo Mokoena has told Parliament’s Mineral Resources Committee that the acting chief inspector of mines has already been on site at the Sibanye-Stillwater’s mine in Westonaria.

Four miners were killed there, while a fifth remains unaccounted for.

This latest tragedy follows other incidents at the company’s mines in the Free State and Gauteng.

Mokoena says the department wants a holistic investigation.

“It’s a very devastating situation. So, we’re really sad about what actually happened. But as from the side of the department, we will ensure that we do everything in our power to ensure that there’s actual compliance.”

Mokoena says according to the Mine and Health Safety Act, workers have the right to refuse to go underground if they feel they will be exposed to danger.

SEARCH EFFORTS

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa says retrieval experts are still hard at work at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Kloof Ikamva Mine.

This is the seventh tragedy at a Sibanye operation since the start of 2018, and unions are calling on Mantashe to hold the mine accountable.

Mathunjwa says search efforts are entering their second night.

“The one… they’ve discovered where he was, but they couldn’t retrieve him. So, the team is still working tirelessly to try and recover him and find the fifth one.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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