The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) is shocked as news came in of yet another mineworker being killed at one of the operations of Sibanye-Stillwater. This latest incident took place at around 03:00 this morning at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Khuseleka Shaft in the Rustenburg area.
It is reported that a loco guard fell into the tip at 12 Level. The proto team eventually found his body at 16 Level. It is clear that he died due to the massive height from which he fell.
“Our sincere condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the fallen comrade”, said AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa. “We pray that our Lord will comfort them during this difficult time”, Mathunjwa added.
Sibanye-Stillwater has killed a total of 10 workers in 2021, including this recent one. October has been a very bad month with this being the fifth breadwinner to pay the ultimate price while on duty. Total deaths in the South African mining industry now stand at 49.
“We must remember that these are people with families”, said Mathunjwa. “Their children will now not be able to finish school or higher learning as their caretakers have been taken away from them. It is hard to believe that CEOs get massive bonuses while they kill workers on a weekly or monthly basis”, he added.
It is the duty of employers to prevent workplace falls from height. Employers are required to provide suitable equipment for “fall arrest” in order to stop workers from falling, and also to place guards at high-risk areas to limit instances of falling from height. Furthermore, workers have to be trained on the risks and also on using the appropriate personal protective equipment.
“As we keep on saying, it is high time that employers are held accountable for their failures in ensuring safe working conditions for workers. The Mine Health and Safety Act must be amended so that mining bosses face harsher penalties when they fail invest time and resources in safety infrastructure. AMCU will not rest until we achieve our goal”, Mathunjwa concluded.
For interviews: AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa