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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Solidarity wants mine bosses to be punished

By Kea Modimoeng and I-Net Bridge | Jul 22, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

ONE worker dies every second day in a South African mine, according to trade union Solidarity.

ONE worker dies every second day in a South African mine, according to trade union Solidarity.

The union has called for the prosecution of mine bosses if negligence is detected and found to be serious.

The death toll on the country's mines since the beginning of this year rose to 104 yesterday.

This after Impala Platinum confirmed that all nine employees, trapped by a rock fall in its 14 Shaft Rustenburg were found dead and their bodies had been recovered.

Cosatu yesterday called for the prosecution and punishment of mine bosses if there is any evidence of negligence linked to the fatal accident at the world's second-largest platinum producer Impala Platinum.

Cosatu said it supported the chief inspector of mines' decision to order all mechanised operations at Implats to be stopped to allow for a full investigation.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said: "This tragedy is further evidence that the number of accidents in our mines is high.

"Safety is not being given the priority it demands. The mining firms must do more to turn their fine words about improving their safety records into action, so as to end the carnage that is still taking place."

Fatalities at South African mines dropped from 221 in 2007 to 168 by late December 2008, representing a decrease of about 23 percent.

An audit report on safety at South African mines, released in February, revealed that SA mining industry compliance with mine safety legislation was a mere 66 percent.

Fatalities have cost the industry, with the mines ministry shutting down mines where fatalities have occurred and the National Union of Mineworkers calling for a day of mourning for every mineworker who dies while on duty.


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