Miners protest in Carltonville

Miners have downed tools as they remember lost colleagues and demand safer working conditions.

Mine shaft. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Thousands of workers have downed tools on Tuesday to mourn those who died at the Gold Fields Driefontein Mine.

Last week, five miners died and 15 others were injured following an underground fire.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the blaze.

According to Num, its members are protesting in Carletonville, west of Johannesburg.

Minister of Minerals Resources Susan Shabangu is among the dignitaries expected to attend the event.

Num spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said they wanted to send a strong message to the mining industry.

"The lack of safety in mining is intolerable and we cannot let it continue."