A MINING accident at Harmony Gold Mining in the Free State claimed the life of a miner on Tuesday, the company said yesterday.
Harmony reported the fatality at its Unisel shaft, which is part of the Virginia operations in the Free State, after a fall of ground accident.
Investigations by management and the department of mineral resources started yesterday.
Harmony chief executive Graham Briggs said safety continued to receive high priority from all stakeholders, and that the company had already seen improvements in its safety record as a result of the behaviour-based safety initiatives that were rolled out at all its operations.
"Despite these efforts, it remains unfortunate that this fatality still occurred," Briggs said.
Lesiba Seshoka, spokesperson for the National Union of Mineworkers, said: "There are no efforts. We know they are doing all they can to save money. We are quite disappointed about this death and we hope the new minister will make safety in mines a priority."
Seshoka said mine bosses must take full responsibility of what happens in their mines.
"In this instance, Graham Briggs himself should be prosecuted because when things are going well it is the CEO who gets the bonus."
He said NUM would be engaging the justice ministry about getting the national prosecuting authority actively involved in these prosecutions.
"The mine health and safety amendment bill was adopted into law a long time ago, which makes these prosecutions legal, so we need to press ahead with that," he said. - Additional reporting by I-Net Bridge