Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe says the safety of mineworkers must be made a priority in the mining sector. Mantashe was speaking at the memorial service for the seven mineworkers who died last week at the Sibanye-Stillwater mine, outside Carltonville on Gauteng’s West Rand.
The memorial service is under way at the Masizakhele Stadium.
Last Thursday, 13 workers were trapped underground after three seismic events which resulted in the deaths of the seven workers.
Sibanye-Stillwater says the other six miners are recovering and are in a stable condition.
Mantashe says if a seismic event occurs, workers must be brought to the surface immediately.
“Let me, first of all, commit to the importance of a follow up health and safety summit for the industry. It is the primary responsibility of every employer to provide a safe working place.”
“It is the responsibility of the government to enforce law. Mineworkers must have a right to refuse to enter a dangerous place; I want us to reinforce this right.”
“Once there is a seismic event we must anticipate that there is going to be a follow up seismic event and pull out workers out of the workplace.”