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The Minerals Council South Africa has convened a special board meeting to address, urgently, a regression in the mining industry’s safety performance and to implement a range of interventions to ensure safer working environments.
The move comes after the industry recorded an alarming eight fatalities in August, bringing the total number of deaths to 36 compared in the year to date. This marks no improvement from the same period in 2021, in which the industry also recorded 36 deaths.
This, the Council said, is "deeply disappointing" after the industry’s safety interventions delivered an encouraging performance in the first seven months of the year, with record safety achievements in fall of ground and trackless mobile machinery-related fatalities.
"Given our unwavering commitment to the goal of zero harm, the industry’s August safety performance – the worst month of the year – was a red flag we could not ignore, and which demanded an immediate proactive response," the Council said, adding that it had called a special board meeting on 9 September to agree revitalised safety interventions in the sector as it heads into the final three months of the year – a period historically associated with an increasing number of fatalities.
"The Minerals Council is committed to zero harm and will continue to collaborate tirelessly with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, organised labour and other stakeholders to ensure every mineworker returns from work unharmed," the Council said.