Mantashe calls on NUM to come up with ideas for mining safety

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has called on NUM to talk to his department to come up with solutions to stop frequently occurring mine accidents.

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Qaanitah Hunter/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe says figures show an upward trend in fatalities as a result of mining accidents.

This year alone, 45 mineworkers have died in mining accidents across the country.

Mine fatalities were discussed in detail at the National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM) conference with general secretary David Supunzi suggesting there should be an arbitration process similar to the Life Esidemeni hearings for the families of victims.

At least 17 mineworkers have died in seven incidents at Sibanye-Stillwater mines since the start of the year. Picture: EWN

Mantashe has called on the NUM to talk to the Department of Mineral Resources to come up with solutions to stop frequently occurring mine accidents.

“The union must bring ideas on the issue of fatalities in the industry.”

He says it is worrying that 20 of the 45 fatalities as a result of mining accidents this year were at Sibanye-Stillwater mines.

But he says, he does not agree with the suggestion that those mines should be shut down because it will add to rising job losses.

Mantashe says a solution will only be found if government, the companies and labour movements work together.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)