SA's 2022 mining death toll reaches a record low

The 2021/2022 data shows a 34% reduction in mining fatalities, with no mine disasters reported since 2018.

FILE: Fall of ground accidents also dropped significantly, according to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s mining death toll has reached a record low as indicated in the latest health and safety statistics.

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) Minister Gwede Mantashe together with officials delivered the 2021/2022 data on Tuesday morning.

There have been no mine disasters reported since 2018. A disaster is declared when five or more miners die underground.

Mantashe said recent data shows that for 2022, there was a 34% reduction in the number of fatalities in mining.

“In 2019, we registered 51 fatalities. We slipped back in 2020 to about 60 fatalities, we furthered down in 2021 to 74. Now we are already starting 49 fatalities in the industry,” he said.

DMRE chief inspector of mines David Msiza said fall of ground accidents also dropped significantly in the reported year, with 22 in 2021, and six in the following year.

While the deaths and injuries in mining seemed to be on a downward trend, there was still concern.

The department flagged the number of women’s fatalities and injuries as a major concern. Sixty-two-thousand women were employed in the country’s mines. Of the 49 people who died in South Africa’s mines last year, three were women.

Mantashe said women seemed to be better at operating mining machinery as fewer accidents occurred when they were on duty.<span style="font-size:10.5pt;

"For men, everything is about a war. They go out to fight, and they roll those dump trucks. Women are soft, they are precise and safe, and they reduce the accidents from dump trucks."<span style="font-size:10.5pt;

But Msiza said far too many women were injured while on duty.

"They are mainly at the bottom as a result of the type of accidents, like slip-and-fall type of accidents, material handling type of accidents."

Officials believe that with the advancement of technology, fewer significant injuries will be reported.<span style="font-size:10.5pt;font-family: