Sibanye-Still­wa­ter rocked by an­other death

African Times - - Front Page - PIET RAMPEDI

SIBANYE-Still­wa­ter was rocked by yet an­other death ear­lier in the week, bring­ing the to­tal num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties for the year to 20. The min­ing com­pany con­firmed that the miner died at its Drie­fontein oper­a­tions near Carl­tonville.

“One of our em­ploy­ees en­tered a gully and they were busy with the night shift clean­ing, so ba­si­cally he was hit by a scraper. He was fa­tally in­jured,” spokesper­son James Well­sted said. Well­sted said the death was still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The death toll at SibanyeStill­wa­ter’s oper­a­tions this year alone stands at over 20, close to half of the fa­tal­i­ties in the en­tire min­ing in­dus­try. “For rea­sons still to be de­ter­mined‚ he en­tered a scraper path and was caught by the scraper. The board and man­age­ment of Sibanye-Still­wa­ter ex­tend their sin­cere con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies‚ friends of our de­ceased col­league. This is an­other sad in­ci­dent and all ef­forts are be­ing fo­cused on ad­dress­ing this per­plex­ing in­crease in safety in­ci­dents,” he said.

Well­sted said they would be join­ing hands with min­eral re­sources and other par­ties to look at the is­sue of safety at it’s oper­a­tions. “We look for­ward to the sup­port and con­tri­bu­tion of all our stake­hold­ers at the sec­ond safety sum­mit which has been con­vened by Sibanye-Still­wa­ter in or­der to col­lec­tively ad­dress these in­ci­dents‚ pre­vent the loss of lives at our oper­a­tions and re-es­tab­lish our safety record,” he said.

Par­lia­ment’s min­eral re­sources com­mit­tee has mean­while called for ac­tion to be taken against mines that con­tra­vene the Safety Act. Com­mit­tee chair­per­son Sahlulele Luzipo says other means of ac­count­abil­ity other than pros­e­cu­tion should be con­sid­ered.

“We need to go be­yond the crim­i­nal pro­ce­dure mat­ter, deduct points, give the li­cence. Parts of the con­di­tions in the li­cence must in­clude your mine’s health and safety record. And once your mine’s health and safety record project that we’re not per­form­ing well, then there should be con­se­quences,” said Luzipo.

The com­mit­tee has also lashed out at the min­er­als depart­ment for not sub­mit­ting reports from pre­vi­ous min­ing ac­ci­dents. It fur­ther called for the sus­pen­sion Sibanye’s op­er­at­ing li­cence.

“The big ques­tion here is that is there any com­mit­ment to make it a point that this thing is re­solved? Just last week we were there talk­ing about the in­ci­dent that hap­pened when five work­ers lost their lives and now to get this news again that an­other mineworker has lost his life is quite shock­ing. We’re look­ing also at speed­ing up the process of bring­ing the bill to Par­lia­ment, so we can see how we’re able to fix the leg­is­la­tion in this case,” said Luzipo.

Ear­lier this month, five minework­ers died at SibanyeStill­wa­ter’s Kloof Ikamva Mine when they en­tered an aban­doned shaft. The com­pany’s oper­a­tions are now re­spon­si­ble for 21 of 45 mine fa­tal­i­ties in 10 in­ci­dents since Fe­bru­ary this year.

DEATH TRAP: at least 20 min­ers have died at the Se­banye Still­wa­ter Mine this year alone.

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