Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe announced on Friday morning that 2019 had the lowest reported number of combined mining fatalities on record, despite an increase in fatalities at platinum mining operations.
Mantashe released the 2019 mining health and safety statistics in Pretoria on Friday, showing a continued drop in mining operation fatalities, from 81 reported fatalities in 2018 to 51 reported fatalities in 2019.
The department also showed a slight decrease in already high occupational injuries from 2 447 in 2018 to 2 406 in 2019.
A challenge in sub-sector work related injuries persisted among coal miners, with injuries rising from 169 in 2018 to 224 in 2019.
Work related injuries on platinum mines rose from 1 049 in 2 018 to 1 151 in 2019, while gold miners decreased fatalities from 905 in 2018 to 732 in 2019.
The gold sector managed to cut fatalities in half, with deaths dropping from 40 in 2018 to 19 in 2019. Coal mine fatalities dropped from nine in 2018 to seven in 2019.
Platinum mines saw fatalities rise from 12 in 2018 to 19 in 2019. Combine fatalities at sectors outside of these three categories dropped from 20 in 2018 to six in 2019.