Portfolio committee welcomes reduction in mine fatalities

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy has welcomed the improvement in the health and safety of mineworkers since the introduction of the Mine Health and Safety Act 25 years ago.

On Tuesday, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe released the Mine Health and Safety Performance Report 2022 which revealed that mining had reported the lowest fatalities – 49 – on record.

Injuries were down from 2 143 in 2021 to 2056 and no machinery related fatalities or mine disasters were reported.

Committee chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo encouraged all mining stakeholders to work together to reduce fatalities to zero.

“We are particularly pleased that no mine disaster has been recorded in four years, since 2018. This good work can only be attributable to the spirit of tripartism and cooperation amongst all stakeholders involved.

“Our general principle remains that one life lost is one too many. It is for this reason that we would like to recognise the fact that these much improved results come at a time when we observe the seventh commemoration of the Lily Mine disaster,” Luzipo said.

February 5 will mark the seventh anniversary of the Lily Mine accident wherein three employees lost their lives in the tragic accident at the Barbeton, Mpumalanga based mine.

Meanwhile, diseases contracted due to mining also decreased by 4.4% from 2013 cases in 2021 to 1924 in 2021.

Silicosis was down to 240 cases from 271, pulmonary tuberculosis cases now stand at 793 from 849 and cases related to noise-induced hearing loss increased from 738 cases to 776. – SAnews.gov.za