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Budget for safety and health in mines not enough - committee

Image: STOCK IMAGE

The Select Committee on land reform, environment, mineral resources and energy has raised concerns about the budget allocated for safety and health in mines.

According to the committee, the size of the allocation gives the impression that the department does not take mine safety seriously.

Committee chairperson Tebogo Modise said the committee was also concerned about how the department plans to conduct oversight over safety in mines as the amendment of the mine safety act is still pending.

“Certain standards should be met when it comes to safety oversight in mines,” Modise said.

The committee was also briefed by the department on its annual performance plan and budget for 2019/20. The department said they were in the process of merging two departments into one which will be completed in March 2020.

Modise said they were worried about the reduction in departmental staff set down for 2020 and in budget.

“We wonder how will the department reach its set targets. Moreover the reduction of the budget will hamper job creation, which is a priority raised by the president in the state of the nation address. The closing of mining shafts is another contributor towards job losses particularly in Rustenburg and Klerskdorp,” Modise said.

The committee expressed its dissatisfaction with the lack of implementation in response to issues raised by mining town communities. It was heard that in Rustenburg and Brits the department failed to implement the concern and inputs raised during the public engagement process.

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