COSATU led by its Deputy General Secretary Cde Solly Phetoe and Deputy President of NUM visited the Phalaborwa Copper Mine in Limpopo yesterday following the death of six mine workers. The federation is deeply perturbed by what it regards as a cavalier approach of the mine management in dealing with the safety of the workers. Their unsatisfactory answers prove that this accident was caused by recklessness and nothing else.
We look forward to the finalisation of the investigations process that will reveal the source of this tragic incident. COSATU commends the Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe for his hands-on approach in attending to the mine accidents and we now want him to act decisively against the guilty culprits after the finalisation of the investigation. We also support his decision to move the Health and Safety Summit from November to the month of September after the escalation in mine fatalities. We shall be preparing our own inputs jointly with NUM that we will be submitting in that summit as COSATU.
The process of amending the Mine Health and Safety Act so as to ensure that responsible for these fatalities are held accountable and prosecuted should be expedited.
COSATU is calling on unions in the mining sector to put aside their differences and focus on dealing with the plight of workers. The number of fatalities in the mining sector has reached crisis levels and something needs to be done to intervene. This calls for the unity of workers and they should all unite as they pay their respects to their deceased colleagues.
We also call our own government to treat this crisis as matter of urgency by making sure that employers take full responsibility for all the fatalities in the mining sector and that they be prosecuted for their recklessness.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794