United Association of South Africa (UASA) expressed concerns about the working conditions of miners in the country. Picture: Norm Betts/Bloomberg News.
United Association of South Africa (UASA) expressed concerns about the working conditions of miners in the country. Picture: Norm Betts/Bloomberg News.

UASA encourages stakeholders to improve the safety and working conditions of miners after Implats tragedy

By Xolile Mtembu Time of article published Dec 2, 2021

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UNITED Association of South Africa (UASA) expressed concerns about the working conditions of miners in the country.

This comes after the death of five miners at the Impala Platinum (Implats) mine in Rustenburg when there was a sudden inflow of mud from an underground opening into the mine which filled the mining shaft where miners were working.

UASA said the increasing mining injuries and fatalities in South Africa continued to put the lives of miners at risk.

“Workers have a right to a safe working environment. Despite this right, more than 60 fatalities and over 1 000 injuries were reported in South African mines in 2020/21, mainly due to rock-fall, machinery, electricity, transportation and mining activities,” said the trade union.

UASA said one life lost was one too many. “The safety and protection of workers is of the utmost importance. UASA strongly encourages other stakeholders and management at Implats and other mines to further improve the safety of underground workers by continuously co-creating solutions to ensure the safety of all.

“We believe with the advantage of advanced technology and knowledge about safety operations, it is within employers’ power to reduce the number of injuries and prevent the loss of life entirely.”

The union said it was deeply saddened by the tragic incident at Implats.

“We convey our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the three dead miners and wish the two miners who were injured and hospitalised a speedy recovery,” said UASA.

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