26 August 2017

 

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) learnt with sadness of the five trapped miners at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu operations.  AMCU’s prayers are with the trapped workers as well as their loved ones.

Mining is very unsafe, and mineworkers risk life and limb daily to put bread on the table for their families.  AMCU regional and branch leadership as well as its National Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Coordinator have been dispatched by the AMCU President and they have been on site since yesterday.

The issue of health and safety in mining has always been a burning issue and AMCU is on record campaigning in this regard.  Earlier the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) denied AMCU’s Section 77 application to address the issue of health and safety failures in mining.  However, this was denied without proper reasons being given.  Still, these safety failures occur on a regular basis.

AMCU applauds Harmony management for stopping all operations.  According to management the families of the trapped mineworkers have been notified, and necessary arrangements have been made.  AMCU will monitor the rescue operation while being on site to provide support where necessary.

AMCU will for now focus all attention on the rescue efforts.  Once the workers have been rescued and the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has concluded its enquiry, AMCU will interrogate the reports and comment on the causes of and solutions to the problems which led to this incident.