SOUTH AFRICAN MINISTER CALLS FOR EXTRA CAUTION ON SAFETY IN MINES

PRETORIA, South African Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has appealed for extra caution to be taken on health and safety issues at the country’s mines following a ground fall accident at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu mine, about 90 kilometres southwest of Johannesburg, over the weekend, with three workers losing their lives.

The Department of Mineral Resources said Monday that seven workers were trapped underground after a seismic event led to the fall of the ground. Two of the employees escaped with minor injuries. The rescue operation for the remaining two workers was continuing.

“We are concerned about the accidents we are seeing in the industry. As we head towards the last quarter of the year, we are asking that employers and the workforce remain alert and continue to prioritise safety, and as the Regulator we will be increasing inspections. We continue to engage with business and labour unions to look at how we can together ensure that the positive strides we have made on health and safety are not reversed,” Zwane said.

Meanwhile, the body of a third miner, trapped since Friday morning, has been brought to surface. According to the mine management on Monday, the miner succumbed to his injuries.

Our sincerest condolences go to the family and friends of the deceased. We will not rest until the other two employees have been found and brought to surface, said Harmony Gold chief executive officer Peter Steenkamp.

Initially, five miners were trapped following a seismic event approximately 3,100 metres below the surface on Friday morning, which resulted in a fall of ground. One of the miners was brought to surface on Saturday afternoon while another was brought up on Sunday morning.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK