Mineral Resources Committee saddened by deaths of four mine workers at Sibanye-Stillwater
The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources is saddened by the deaths of yet another four workers at the Sibanye-Stillwater mine on Monday night. The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Sahlulele Luzipo, has extended heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the deceased.
Although the committee is aware that one more worker is still unaccounted for, it understands that the recent deaths brings to 19 the number of workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty at Sibanye's mines since January this year. The committee is concerned that nine lives have been lost in just two months.
The committee fails to understand why senior mine managers are still in possession of their jobs, with such a track record under their stewardship. "What exactly do they report to work for, when they fail to deliver on the basic legislative and moral obligation of ensuring the safety of workers? The chief executive officer, at one point, allegedly said workers were speaking 'nonsense' when they raised concerns about safety and also allegedly subjected them to a disciplinary hearing for attending memorial services for their colleagues," said Mr Luzipo.
The committee also believes that the Department of Mineral Resources has questions to answer in the wake of these developments. Furthermore, the department should hold shareholders accountable for senior management's remuneration packages and the dividends that are shared among them, over the dead bodies of mine workers.
The committee strongly believes that the high number of deaths at Sibanye's mines is a sign that unusual action should be taken.
Mr Luzipo called for a swift and thorough inspection of the health and safety measures at Sibanye's mines and urged maximum sanctions for any lapses.
The committee has urged the mine to do everything within its powers to bring the missing worker back to the surface.
Issued by: Parliament of South Africa