NUM calls for document legally binding mines on safety, health

Sibanye-Stillwater signed a safety pledge with organised labour and the government to reduce the number of fatalities at its operations.

FILE: The Masakhane shaft at Sibanye-Stillwater's Driefontein mine near Carletonville. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it wants the establishment of a legally binding document regulating health and safety in mines.

Sibanye-Stillwater signed a safety pledge with organised labour and the government to reduce the number of fatalities at its operations.

The gold producing company says it's still investigating the death of a miner who died last week at its Driefontein operation in the east of Johannesburg.

Sibanye-Stillwater has committed, with the Department of Mineral Resources and some unions including the NUM and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), to prioritise safety in mines.

NUM's Mpho Phakedi says though this pledge is not legally binding, it still allows all those involved to hold each other accountable.

“The process should lead to something that will be a legally binding document to a certain extent.”

At the same time, Sibanye-Stillwater’s James Wellsted says its output for gold production has been revised for this year.

A US law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against the company to recover investment losses suffered as a result of 21 fatalities at Sibanye's operations this year.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)