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Press Statement, 19 January 2017
NUM Press statement on the release of the 2016 mine health and safety statistics.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) welcomes the release of statistics on health and safety for last year.
The NUM is disappointed that there is no improvement on fatal accidents for the period under review. It is against the consistent decrease we have been observing for the past few years which could be interpreted as the lack of the commitment towards zero harm.
In 2012 there 112 fatal accidents with gold leading with 53 followed by platinum with 28. In 2013 there were 94 fatal accidents. In 2014 there were 84 fatal accidents. In 2015 there were 77 fatal accidents again gold leading with 33 followed by platinum with 22.
Today the report talks to 73 fatal accidents against 77 same time last year and platinum shows an increase from 22 to 27.
We are observing this increase in the platinum belt and interpreting it as a result of the fact that when workers fight against each other, the employers relax the health and safety procedures, standards and policies which lead to the spike in fatalities and injuries.
We say we are disappointed because we are talking of breadwinners, not just figures here.
This announcement comes two days before the 57th anniversary of the major Coalbrook disaster which killed more than 430 workers on 21 January 1960.
We acknowledge that we have signed a 5 point pledged in the summit held in November last year with a view to achieving zero harm.
We call for workers to unite to save their life, limbs and lungs from the brutality of the industry.
Another area of concern is the court battles between DMR and Employers around section 54 of the Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA) which we believe is meant to save lives of the mineworkers.
We call upon the parties in the spirit of the 5 point pledge plan to sit around the table and appreciate the objectives we set ourselves of zero harm and the commitment we made on achieving it to guide us in finding an amicable solution.
For more information, Please contact
Erick Gcilitshana: NUM Health and Safety Secretary: 082 809 3105
Livhuwani Mammburu: NUM National Spokesperson: 083 809 3257
The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257