COSATU statement on the death of four miners at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu mine

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is saddened to learn of the tragic death of four miners at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu mine after an underground mudslide We send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased workers.

The Federation demands a full investigation to establish the cause of the accident and make sure that such an incident is averted in the future. We also want guarantees from Harmony Gold that the families of the victims would receive the full possible assistance at this sad time.

We reiterate our call for workers to refuse to work in an unsafe environment that puts their lives in danger. Workers sell their labour and not their lives.

Fatalities in South Africa’s mining industry still remain a big challenge with about 19 fatalities already this year. The mining sector recorded about 74 fatalities last year, 2021, an increase from 60 the year before and following an all-time low of 51 fatalities in 2019. More need to be done to arrest this regression in the safety in mining sector workplaces.

We hope that the stakeholders that are meeting at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town will also reflect on this problem. This should form part of the engagements as they discuss the future of the mining sector. The health and safety of workers is critical to mining’s long-term sustainability.

The Federation working with its affiliate NUM and other role-players will continue to demand improvement in safety until the number of accidents is drastically reduced. Everything must be done to ensure that we move towards zero fatalities.

Issued by COSATU 

Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)

Tel: 011 339 4911

Fax: 011 339 5080

Cell: 060 975 6794