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Court to hear testimony from Minerals Council in Amcu case against DMRE

The union took the department to court to compel Minister Gwede Mantashe to institute binding regulations for employers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FILE: Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: @_AMCU/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Thursday will be day two of the court case in the showdown between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE).

The union took the department to court to compel Minister Gwede Mantashe to institute binding regulations for employers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legal action came as mines prepared to resume production at 50% capacity.

During a virtual Labour Court sitting on Wednesday, lawyers for Amcu argued that there was a need for binding regulations attached to possible criminal sanctions if mine bosses did not comply with regulations.

They said Section 9 of the Mine Health and Safety Act made provision for this as COVID-19 was both an occupational and public health crisis. But, the DMRE disputed this saying the regulations already gazetted were enough and there was no proof that mine bosses would not comply.

The Labour Court on Thursday will continue hearing testimony from the Minerals Council South Africa, which had already highlighted that mineworkers were at a higher risk of contracting the virus because of the underlying illnesses like silicosis and tuberculosis.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.