Following yesterday’s death of two miners at Kloof Mine, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) would like to call on the departments of Minerals Resources and Labour to temporarily stop operations at Sibanye Stillwater mines until all health and safety concerns are relooked and inspected thoroughly.
The death of the two miners follows right on the heels of another near-death of 955 miners from the same mining company’s Beatrix Mine in the Free State, which could not operate its generators soon after electricity outage in the area. It took Eskom to fix its power for the miners to be rescued after a day.
DENOSA is in solidarity with its sister union, the Union of Mineworkers (NUM), in calling for improvement of health and safety measures in mining operations, so that miners are not made to sell their lives. We call for the investigation into this incident to be speeded up so that corrective measures are taken as soon as possible.
Health facilities throughout the country are faced with a major challenge of shortage of health workers. Carelessness of mining companies on health and safety threaten to worsen this situation, and that is why the naughty ones must be called to order.
It cannot be correct that an uncaring mining company, which Sibanye Stillwater has proven to be, is allowed to plunge mineworkers into death traps on a regular basis. Today’s incident is living proof that profit comes before the health and safety of workers.
Both the departments of Mineral Resources and Labour must ensure that companies they give licences to do mining operations in South Africa are socially responsible at all times, otherwise many households risk losing bread-winners because of the careless behaviour of mining companies.
DENOSA would like to remind mining companies that there is no second chance to a life that has been lost! Therefore mining must not be done at the expense of miners’ livelihoods.
Maybe it is time the Mining Indaba erected a Wall of Shame where names of mining companies that still undermine the issue of health and safety are placed, if it will take that for them to shake up.
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)
For more information, contact:
Cassim Lekhoathi, DENOSA Acting General Secretary
Mobile: 082 328 9671
Sibongiseni Delihlazo, DENOSA Communications Manager
Mobile: 072 584 4175