Zwane raises concern over miners' well-being, lauds NUM

The minister was speaking at a NUM central committee meeting in Centurion yesterday.

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane says it's unacceptable that the mining sector still reports a high number of occupational diseases contracted by employees.

Zwane says the silicosis class action, recently heard by the High Court in Johannesburg, highlights the need for effective control measures to deal with health issues.

The minister was speaking at a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) central committee meeting in Centurion yesterday, where he has lauded the union for its role in protecting the health and safety of workers.

Zwane says there are still too many occupational diseases affecting mineworkers.

"Most specifically TB, silicosis and noise-induced hearing loss."

He says the health of workers is important for the competitiveness of South Africa's mining sector.

"This is crucial if we are to realise our objective of mining sector that is suitable and globally competitive."

Zwane says he is also concerned about the health and safety of women working in the mining sector.