'33 people have died and the top killers are gold mines'

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) along with National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) are holding a protest outside the Chamber of Mines.

They are demanding action against what they call deteriorating safety standards in the mining industry.

This follows the recent deaths of mine workers, which unions say have become a growing trend.

In a statement, NUM said more than 33 people had been killed in the mining sector since the start of the year.

READ: Three miners still trapped underground at Sibanye Stillwater mine

Speaking to Ray White on The Midday Report, NUM president Piet Matosa said their view is that companies are prioritising profit over spending money to insure that mine workers are safe.

To date, this year 33 people have died and the top killers are gold mines amongst them are Harmony and Sibanye Gold Mine.

Piet Matosa, NUM President

Actions suggest that mine bosses are not worried about the safety of the mine workers underground.

Piet Matosa, NUM President

He added that they would like to sit down with the Chamber of Mines to discuss mine safety.

Ray White also spoke to Head of Safety and Sustainable Development at the Chamber of Mines Sizwe Phakathi who said, just like all the stakeholders, they are equally concerned about ensuring that employees' safety is a priority for all.

Also read: Workers shutdown Gupta-owned Optimum mine amid job uncertainty

If you look at the kind of investment that we have made in containing the seismic events in the past, we have made some great strides in that area. I can show you with the numbers we have managed to reduce as far as fatalities are concerned.

Sizwe Phakathi, Head of Safety and Sustainable Development at the Chamber of Mines

In 2003 he says, it stood at 48 seismic related fatalities and that was reduced to three in 2017, seven in 2016.

We had a spike last year which related to 14 fatalities, and last week we saw another incidence at Sibanye Gold Mine.

Sizwe Phakathi, Head of Safety and Sustainable Development at the Chamber of Mines

Listen below to the NUM interview:

Also listen to the reply by The Chamber of Mines:


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