They were among the 13 who were trapped following an earthquake; 3 workers yet to be rescued
The Dawn News / May 4, 2018
Four mine workers, who were among the 13 trapped in a South African gold mine after an earthquake, died in hospital on May 4. Two others who were rescued were severely injured, while three more are still trapped in the mine.
The incident took place at the Masakhane Shaft operated by Sibanye-Stillwaters in Driefontein in the Mpumalanga province. In February, nearly 1,000 miners were trapped for more than 24 hours following a power outage in another mine owned by the same irm. Unions have accused the mining company of not having taken enough precautions. South Africa has some of the deepest mines in the world.
The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) has called upon government, particularly, the Departments of Mineral Resources and Labour, to immediately open an inquiry into the tragedy and “take action to prevent any further such tragedies.”
Labour movements across the country, including SAFTU, have sent their condolences to the families of the deceased workers and wished those injured speedy recovery.
With the death toll in mine accidents in the country touching 26 this year, SAFTU has called on the government and mine companies to prioritize workers’ lives over profit maximisation. Fatalities in mining accidents rose for the first time in a decade in 2017, which saw 82 deaths from January to November.