Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called on government to shut down all Sibanye-Stillwater operations, saying Mineral Resource Minister Gwede Mantashe must make use of Section54 in terms of the Mine Health & Safety Act.
The legislation enables the department of mineral resources to close entire mines and shafts in the event of a safety breach.
Cosatu's appeal follows the deaths of four miners at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Kloof operation.
The labour federation spokesperson Sizwe Pamla has accused government of 'colluding' with the corporate sector and says it needs to pick a side.
The problem that we have here is that there is this sinister alliance between government and big business. They are colluding against the workers. Government has to choose sides here. No one has taken action after a investigation was done at Lilly Mine, no one has been held accountable after an investigation exposed Sibanye-Stillwater was using on generator amongst shafts.— Sizwe Pamla , Cosatu spokesperson
We want the minister to use the tools at his disposal to take action so we are convinced— Sizwe Pamla , Cosatu spokesperson
We are talking about 18 workers that have died from Sibanye alone. Shut down their operations, send in inspectors, make sure that they do not send worker underground because everything they have done points to the fact that they are reckless in the way that they deal with their health and safety issues.— Sizwe Pamla , Cosatu spokesperson
Mantashe visited the mine on Tuesday saying there are signs of reckless conduct in the death of the miners.
Responding to Pamla's comments, the minister says the federation's suggestion that all Sibanye operations be shut down, is ill informed.
We can close those mines, all of them and then we will come back to the show talking about the thousands of mine-workers who will have to be retrenched. I think that proposal by Cosatu is ill informed and dangerous.— Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources
It is dangerous when there are disasters like this, for a federation like Cosatu to think that populism and recklessness will help us solve the problem.— Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources
Click on the link below to listen to the full conversation and the SACP's take on the matter....