SA mining fatalities fall 10% in 2018, but industry warns against complacency

Date: Mar 4, 2019

81 people lost their lives working on South Africa’s mines in 2018, according to data published today by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) today. This was better than the 90 fatalities recorded in 2017.

Sandile Sangqu, deputy president of the Minerals Council South Africa, said the fatalities were an improvement but there was “… no ground for complacency. Efforts to improve further will continue,” he said.

Said Gwede Mantashe, South African mines minister: “We cannot afford to become complacent because of the improvements we have been able to achieve over the years”. The mining industry was more than about rocks or investment, he said.

Interestingly, Mantashe dropped rhetoric last year in which he said there should be prosecutions for those identified as being directly responsible for mining accidents. He said today: “The sector has set itself the goal of zero-harm by 2020. This implies that by 2020 there should be no fatalities in the sector.

“As the Regulator we will do our part in monitoring and enforcing compliance with the law and urge our social partners to play their part to realise the overarching objective of ensuring that every mineworker returns home unharmed, every single day”.

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