The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is deeply shocked and disturbed by the increasing number of fatal incidents that happened around Limpopo mines this week.
“We are very much disturbed by the fatalities that happened this week in the mining industry in Limpopo where three mineworkers have been fatally injured at IvanPlats Mine next to Mokopane. The fatal incident at IvanPlats happened on the 14th September 2020 during the morning shift when the employees were proceeding underground using a lift. it is alleged that a cable got broken whilst the cage was in motion and three employees got trapped and were confirmed dead after the preliminary investigation was conducted,” said Phillip Mankge, NUM North East Regional Secretary.
NUM is highly shocked and angry about the treatment it received from IvanPlats management when denied access at the security checkpoint to form part of the preliminary investigations. We would like to take this opportunity to name and shame the management of IvanPlats for their conduct especially at the time when the poor employees needed representation and support from their union. This arrogant company is not ready to comply with the Mine, Health and Safety Act as promulgated.
In another incident, we have learned with serious shock that Modikwa Platinum Mine has another fatal incident of underground inhalation of gases. On the 13th of September 2020, one employee was found dead due to lack of ventilation underground. According to the information at our disposal, the last fatal accident that happened in Modikwa was due to poor ventilation.
NUM is highly disappointed with both companies. A few weeks ago Modikwa arrogantly refused to remove their installed Biometrix system to avoid the spread of COVID 19. Again last month, IvanPlats retrenched 59 employees after the company served the union with Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.
The fatalities and injuries that are happening in the mining industry in South Africa are as a result of the mining companies pricing the loss of human life into their business model. They do not care about the mineworker’s lives. They only care about profits.
“It is unacceptable that mineworkers are denied their basic human right to work in an environment that guarantees their safety and that instead they are expected to go to work to die. We are selling our labour for the survival of our families, not our limbs, and lives,” Mankge said.
The NUM would like to convey its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families, colleagues, and friends of the deceased during this difficult time.
For more information, please contact
Phillip Mankge, NUM North East Regional Secretary, 076 053 3401
Sekotsana Ledwaba, NUM North East Region Health and Safety Secretary, 060 908 9270