NUM: Stop mine industry bloodletting

2010-10-27 12:15

Johannesburg - "Bloodletting" in the country's mining industry must stop, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Wednesday after three workers were killed this week.

"If it does not stop, then someone must be held accountable," NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said in a statement.

A mineworker was killed at the Bafokeng Rasimone platinum mine in Rustenburg in the early hours of Wednesday morning in a winch-related accident.

"The NUM is currently investigating circumstances that led to the terrible accident."

On Monday, a tractor driver was killed at Ocon bricks in Rustenburg when his vehicle rolled on him.

Later that day another worker was killed at Copper Slate in Swartruggens, Rustenburg when he fell from a trailer.

"All these are what the mining industry calls safety improvements in South Africa," Baleni charged.

The union had repeatedly called on the mining industry to take tangible steps to improve safety "rather than relegate safety to workshops, talk shops and lunch hour meetings over beer".

In 2009, 165 miners were killed in the country's mines - just over three per week.