The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] is extremely worried by the death of two mineworkers who were trapped underground after a rock fall at the Kloof Mine owned by Sibanye Stillwater today.
The death of these workers happens just a week after more than 1100 workers were trapped underground at another mine owned by Sibanye Stillwater at Beatrix in the Free State. We find it very unacceptable that the accident in Beatrix did not prompt the company to pay more attention to issues of health and safety.
The national union calls for a legislation that penalise companies who fail to put mechanisms in place to prevent the loss of lives in mines. The maximisation of profit must never at all material times superseded the wellness of workers. In this regard, we support the call by Cosatu for a total shutdown of all operation by Sibanye Stillwater in the country with immediate effect.
As NEHAWU, we would like to send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of these workers who passed away. We hope their death will not be in vain and that it will send a strong message to mining companies that the safety and health of workers should be of paramount importance at all times.
We will be meeting with our sister union the National Union of Mineworkers [NUM] very soon with a view of convening a march directed at the Minister of Mineral Resources who is busy being a lackey of the Guptas instead of ensuring that mining companies comply with safety standards.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968;
December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969;
Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 082 455 2500
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za