Cosatu to march and protest at Lily Mine

2016-06-12 16:44
Lily Mine (AFP)

Lily Mine (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria  The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is to stage a protest at Lily Mine in a bid to pressurisethe company and government to fast track the process of bringing to the surface the bodies of trapped miners and also compensate the stranded mineworkers, who are currently sitting at home.

“This protest march will be led by the national leadership of the federation and one of its affiliates, the National Union of Mineworkers. The federation also wants government to institute a commission of inquiry into the Lily Mine disaster,” said spokesperson, Sizwe Pamla, in a statement.

“We feel strongly that it was the reckless conduct of mine bosses, who failed to adhere to health and safety regulations, that caused the accident.”

Pamla said a study conducted by the CPUT civil engineering department on the Lily Mine accident concluded that since mine sinkholes are mostly caused by humans, it was likely human conduct was behind the accident.

He said a commission of inquiry should explore whether the accident could have been avoided if proper planning and preparation had been done.

Drilling vibrations

“Their study shows that mine sinkholes can be caused by drilling too many vibrations at the same time causing unneeded movement in the soil. Creating tunnels too close to each other underground weakens the supportive structure of the surrounding soil and leads to the collapse of the soil," he said.

"Construction of incorrect supporting tunnel systems; broken water- or drain pipes, large amounts of water can also penetrate through mud and rocks which lead to ground erosion and sinkholes."

Pamla added that they wanted the commission to look at some of those factors to establish who or what was responsible for the disaster and also find long-term solutions not just for Lilly Mine but for the mining industry in general.

The march comes against the backdrop of an announcement that the mine would resume operations following a R171m investment by a Canadian company. The mine was closed in February following a cave-in which closed the entrance to the 13 levels underground.

Land subsidence

It also resulted in the death of three mine workers  Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyerenda  who were on duty in the lamp room, which was located in a metal container. Their bodies have not been recovered.

Pamla said it was important for an enquiry to be carried to ensure the safety of other mines throughout the country. “This is very important because extensive shallow mining is done across large parts of South Africa and that means that there is the growing risk of land subsidence and another tragedy.

The Lily mine disaster has shown that the company did not have a rescue plan. It is also now obvious that they followed a wrong approach by using vibration technology, which was more likely to cause further rock falls," he said. "This is reflective of the entire mining industry and since there are big chances of another large land subsidence happening, it means that we risk experiencing more tragic accidents like Lilly mine if we do not act now."

Read more on:    cosatu  |  num  |  mbombela  |  lily mine

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
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.