Sibanye Gold: We need to understand why mine deaths have increased

Yet another miner has been reported dead at Sibanye-Stillwater Driefontein operations near Carltonville.

The miner died while on a cleaning shift when he was hit by a scraper.

This brings a number of dead workers at the mine to six in just a month and 21 since the beginning of the year.

Unions have called on government to intervene with Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources calling for the mine to be placed under curatorship and, if need be, lose its operating licence.

Mining analyst and MD at Creative Voodoo, Mamokgethi Molopyane says it is good that the mining portfolio committee is talking about the safety of mine workers.

She says governemnt will have to make its position known on this issues.

Read: Three miners still trapped underground at Sibanye Stillwater mine

I don't think they will continue keeping quiet because clearly, the measures put in place to ensure the safety of mine workers at Sibanye are not working.

Mamokgethi Molopyane, Mining and Labour Analyst at Creative Voodoo Consulting

When they result in 21 people dying, it's no longer a mishap or an accident but it speaks to an internal problem in terms of health and safety measures that the company has in place.

Mamokgethi Molopyane, Mining and Labour Analyst at Creative Voodoo Consulting

Sibanye Gold spokesperson James Wellsted says they still don't have information into why the miner entered the gully where he made contact with the scraper. The investigation is still ongoing with the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR)

We did roll out a revised strategy last year across our operations which had a fairly good outcome towards the end of last year.

James Wellsted, Sibanye Gold spokesperson

For some reasons since February this year we've had an increase in incidents of this nature...

James Wellsted, Sibanye Gold spokesperson

Of course this is of great concern and we are, together with DMR, trying to get a better understanding why this is happening.

James Wellsted, Sibanye Gold spokesperson

To hear the rest of the interview on the safety of mine workers, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Sibanye Gold: We need to understand why mine deaths have increased


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