NUMSA is demanding that Beatrix Mine remain shut until workers safety can be guaranteed

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) is relieved that the majority of 900 mineworkers who were trapped at Sibanye Stillwater Beatrix Mine in the Free State, have been rescued. A storm knocked out the power supply to the mine on Wednesday night which resulted in workers being trapped underground. According to news reports the majority of workers have since been brought back up to the surface.
NUMSA is demanding that Sibanye Stillwater Beatrix Mine should remain shut pending a full investigation. They should not be allowed to operate until they can guarantee the safety of workers.
Mine workers in South Africa give up their lives to work in a profession which continues to treat them with disdain and disrespect. The mining industry in South Africa has shown that it does not value the life of an African worker at all. In February 2016 Lily mine workers Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Nkambule and Solomon Nyerende were trapped underground when a lamp-room container they were working in fell into a sinkhole created by a collapsed crown pillar. Rescue operations were launched in an attempt to recover the bodies of the three workers, but later aborted as the mine was declared unsafe. Their bodies have never been recovered. Every year since 2012 over 70 people have died underground as a result of mining accidents. That’s because the industry has no interest in improving safety conditions underground. They pursue profits before the well being and safety of workers.
We are calling on the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to do a thorough investigation before allowing the mine to continue its usual operations. They must also investigate why the mine seemingly did not have a back-up generator when the power outage occurred.
Aluta continua!
The struggle continues!
Issued by Phakamile Hlubi-Majola
NUMSA Acting spokesperson