South Africa: Mining Death Stats Worry Unions, Chamber of Mines
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane released the health and safety statistics for the industry at a press briefing at Harmony Gold in Randfontein on Thursday.
The statistics showed that fatalities had come down from 77 in 2015 to 73 in 2016. The major contributors to these fatalities were gold mines (30) and platinum mines (27). Followed by coal mines (5) and other mines such as diamond, chrome, copper and iron ore (12).
Fatalities in the platinum sector increased in the past year from 21 to 27.
“We are observing this increase in the platinum belt and interpreting it as a result of the fact that when workers fight against each other, the employers relax the health and safety procedures, standards and policies which lead to the spike in fatalities and injuries,” said the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in a statement.
“We say we are disappointed because we are talking of breadwinners, not just figures here,” the labour union added