Another Fatality At Village Main Reef’s Tau Lekoa Mine

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) is saddened and dismayed by yet another fatality at Village Main Reef’s (VMR) Tau Lekoa mine in the North West. The Union has been consistently calling for amendments to the Mine Health and Safety Act. But yet again we see another breadwinner killed. When will we see justice?

Yesterday, 30 January 2020, another mine worker was killed in a fall of ground (FOG) event, reportedly due seismicity, at VMR’s Tau Lekoa mine in Orkney, North West Province. We await the investigation and further details.

On 25 January 2020, one day after the Minister of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), Hon. Gwede Mantashe, announced the 2019 mining health and safety performance figures, another fatality occurred at the very same mine. At approximately 13h54 a seismic event of approximately 2.4ML occurred, trapping one mine worker. Unfortunately, by the time the rescue team reached the worker, he was already deceased. Investigations are underway and further details are yet unclear.

Just last month, on 7 December 2019, at the very same mine, four (4) workers were also fatally injured in an FOG event due to seismicity.

So far this brings the total number of mine workers killed for 2020 to seven (7), including one worker found dead at Harmony Gold’s Phakisa mine on 13 January 2020, and the year is yet young.

Minister Mantashe and the DMRE team has just last week announced 2019 as the lowest year on record for fatalities in the mining sector. Will 2020 bring about a regression? All employees must be protected!

We implore the government for stricter punishment of any and all employers who kill workers they are legislated to protect. We seek immediate intervention and swift justice! Employers must be held to account by a Mine Health and Safety Act with teeth and a government which works to protect people, not profits.

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