STRIVING FOR ZERO HARM AT MINES – MINERAL MINISTER
The 2018 Occupational Health and Safety Summit ended on Friday with a recommitment to zero harm in the mining industry.
Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe told SAnews that his department continues to call for further cooperation from all stakeholders to address challenges in the mining sector.
“Health and safety in the mining industry must be a reality. Yesterday, we had reported 69 fatalities [for the year] and today it is 71. This is a big concern to us. It is a disaster for the industry,” he said referring to the latest incidents where two miners died in separate incidents at Dishaba Mine in Limpopo and Kopanang Mine on the West Rand.
“This is why health and safety must be integrated with competitiveness, sustainability and transformation. I appeal to everybody to take this seriously.
“We need to ensure that mining contributes positively to the economy of the country and that we generate wealth for the country, said Mantashe at the end of the two-day summit.
The summit, which is co-hosted by Health and Safety Council (MHSC) and the Mineral Resources Department, brought together 700 stakeholders from government, business and organised labour to collectively assess progress and find solutions that will assist the industry in improving the status quo.
The Minister said the summit was an important event for him, which unpacked health and safety at a new level.
The summit heard that the number of women working in the mining sector has increased significantly in the past 15 years � from around 11,400 in 2002 to about 53,000 women in 2015, and to 53,179 in 2017.
Women represent 12% of the mining labour force of 464,667.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK