NUM calls for tough mine safety law

2010-10-13 18:44
Johannesburg – South Africa's largest union said on Wednesday the government should enact new legislation to compel mining companies to uphold higher safety standards and prevent avoidable mine accidents and deaths.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said the government should draw lessons from Chile's ongoing incident; in which miners were trapped underground for 69 days in a collapsed mine.

South Africa has a dire mining safety record compared with the industrialised world, partly because it has some of the deepest mines. Last year, 165 miners died in South African mines.

NUM president Senzeni Zokwana said most mining companies in South Africa were paying more attention to making big profits than to ensuring safety for their workers.

"For miners to die in a situation where we think it is preventable is a lack of will on the part of employers," Zokwana said.

"The capacity and the means (to maintain safety) are there, but for that to happen we need an instrument (law) from the government to ensure that mines conform to the safety requirements," Zokwana said.

South Africa is the world's largest platinum and ferrochrome producer and also the fourth-biggest gold producer.

Nationalisation

Zokwana also said the mining industry and the government should focus on the starting date of a state mining company rather than continue to talk about the nationalisation of mines.

The ANC, at one of the party's biggest meetings in years last month, agreed to explore greater state control of the mining sector but made no shift in economic policy.

Zokwana said some of the people pushing for nationalisation of the mines had ulterior motives, after they failed to pay for stakes in existing mines that were awarded to them under the country's economic empowerment plans.

"Our fear is that the state is being used to (try and) bail out some people (through nationalisation)," he said, adding that mines are expensive to run and require special skills.

"We believe that we need a sober debate," Zokwana said.

Zokwana said a state company should focus on mining for coal and ensure the development of new industries to process platinum group metals.
Read more on:    num  |  senzeni zokwana  |  mining
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Motoring
 

Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

Are you thirty and still single, without even a hint of a prospect on the horizon? Then read this!

 
 

Men24.com

SA’s Playboy Playmate of the year in action!
12 lies everyone accepts as fact
Hottie of the day: Charlotte
Breakup text goes viral and it’s hilarious!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may be hard to stay cool, calm and collected. Your emotions can get quite heated in the moment. You may benefit from finding a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.