Receive our newsletter – data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
July 19, 2018updated 18 Jul 2018 3:07pm

South African MPs call on government to act following Limpopo disaster

South African MPs have called for government intervention following the Limpopo disaster, where six mineworkers died at the Palabora-owned copper mine, bringing the total number of miners to have died at work in South African this year to 51.

By JP Casey

South African MPs have called for government intervention following the Limpopo disaster, where six mineworkers died at the Palabora-owned copper mine, bringing the total number of miners to have died at work in South African this year to 51.

Both the Mineral Resources Portfolio Committee and Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources have called for Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe to take ‘desperate intervention’, and have asked the government to draft legislation that will hold mine operators and managers responsible for deaths of workers.

Ayanda Shezi of the Mineral Resources Department said: “It’s unfortunate that yet again we’ve lost so many lives. There are already a high number of deaths that have occurred in the industry since the beginning of the year. The minister wishes to reiterate a call for mining companies to prioritise the health and safety of workers.”

Mantashe has visited the site of the accident with representatives from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which represent 85% of workers employed by South Africa’s four largest mining companies.

The minister said that his department will move an upcoming safety summit from November to September to address the widespread concerns of the industry. He also said that he expects an investigation into the Limpopo disaster to be completed within a month, so its findings can be presented to the mining summit, along with reports from other disasters that have affected South Africa this year.

Mantashe said: “We’re calling the summit before the end of September because, in the review, we’re not saying much; we don’t say these are the areas that must be strengthened.”

Content from our partners
Innovations in mining and the future of the industry
Four challenges for the future of mining and how to overcome them
An everyday health hazard: How to protect against petrochemicals

Five of the workers died underground when a fire broke out and the temperature within the mine reached 67 degrees Celsius. The heat and smoke complicated rescue operations; only a single miner was rescued from the mine, who later died in hospital.

Related Companies

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. The top stories of the day delivered to you every weekday. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Friday. The mining industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU