Condolences for mineworkers' families

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Cabinet has extended its condolences to the families and friends of the deceased mineworkers at the Sibanye-Stillwater’s Driefontein Mine, near Carletonville on the West Rand.

A total of 13 mineworkers were trapped underground last Thursday at the firm’s Masakhane shaft in Driefontein, following seismic activity. Seven workers were killed and six of the surviving employees are in a stable condition in hospital.

The mining company says an investigation is still underway to determine what caused the seismic event which resulted in rock fall.

Addressing the media on Thursday during a post Cabinet briefing, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said Cabinet has urged the mining sector to fast-track their research that will assist in the capability in detecting seismic activities in the mines and save lives.

Meanwhile, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe represented government at a memorial service for the mineworkers held today in Carletonville.

Addressing the mourners, Minister Mantashe said miners must be given the respect they deserve and that they should sit in the board meetings.

He told the mourners that he is going to propose that miners must have shares in the mines.

“All of us have a duty to make the mines safe,” added Minister Mantashe.

On Saturday, President Cyril Ramaphosa also extended condolences to the families.

“As government and South Africans at large, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased workers, among whom are workers from neighbouring states, including Mozambique.

“We also offer our best wishes to workers who have been directly or indirectly affected by this disaster, which should move the mining industry and government to jointly find ways to do all we can to protect our nation’s most valuable resource - the workers who are at the heart of our economy.

“We should spare no cost and no collaboration to ensure that workers are safe and their families are adequately cared for and compensated when disaster and tragedy strike,” President Ramaphosa said on Saturday.

President Ramaphosa said he hopes the investigation into the disaster will identify the causes of the incident and lead to solutions that will address the unacceptable rate of death in South African mines. –