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Cosatu urges unions to work together and force govt to deal with mine deaths

Cosatu’s Sizwe Pamla says government needs to be forced to choose between workers and mining companies.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is calling on trade unions to put their differences aside and work together to force government to act against mining companies with high death rates.

On Wednesday, the federation called on government to prosecute management at Sibanye-Stillwater's Kloof operation for reckless endangerment of workers.

This is after the death of four miners who are said to have died of heat exhaustion after going into a disused shaft on Monday.

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe visited the mine, saying there are signs of reckless conduct in the death of the miners.

Cosatu’s Sizwe Pamla says that government needs to be forced to choose between workers and mining companies.

“For a long time South African government has chosen the side of the mining companies. We think people of South Africa, especially trade unions, need to work together and we’re encouraging trade unions organised in that circuit to actually put aside their own differences.”

He says that mining companies are killing workers without any care because government is too generous and easy on them.

“The recklessness of the mining companies has nothing to do with any political affiliation. So, we’re encouraging workers to actually push back.”

The federation has likened the management at the mine to cash-in-transit heists criminals, saying they are all driven by greed.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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