Nine workers dead in mine accident

Nine miners have died after an accident at the Gold Fields South Deep Mine near Randfontein in Gauteng, the chief inspector of mines said on Thursday. Thabo Gazi said he received a report on the accident at about 12pm.

It is believed that the cage carrying the men fell down a shaft after a cable snapped.

Inspectors were on site investigating the incident.

The bodies of the miners had been recovered and were being taken to a mortuary.

Department of Minerals and Energy spokesperson Bheki Khumalo confirmed the incident.

Gold Fields spokesperson Reidwaan Wookay also confirmed that an accident had occurred, however no further details were immediately available.

Trade union Solidarity said the cage carrying the mine workers plummeted two levels down the mine shaft after the cage cable snapped.

Eight of the deceased workers were contract workers for Murray and Roberts Cementation while the other was a South Deep Mine employee.

”The union … implores Gold Fields to take all necessary steps to put the current cycle of accidents to an immediate end,” said Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), meanwhile, called for ”heads to roll” at Gold Fields.

Spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said: ”Staff should get arrested and charged.”

He said in many instances mine bosses had been found guilty of negligence and culpable homicide but they had never been prosecuted.

”There is a dire need for bosses to be prosecuted and sent to jail [and] rot there, otherwise the issue of safety will never be addressed.”

Seshoka said the cable that broke was meant to have maintenance work done once a week.

”If they had maintenance done last week, how can it break like that?” he asked.

Seshoka said the workers were working on Workers’ Day because South Deep Mine followed a ”continuous operations” schedule.

He said the average wage of the miners was about R3 000 a month.

He sad 14 mine workers at Gold Fields had died this week.

On Tuesday, four workers died after becoming trapped during a seismic event, and another due to a ground fall.

Seshoka said the morale of workers at Gold Fields was very low at the moment.

”This is war,” he said.

”Why are these men being sent down to die instead of being sent to make a living so their children can live.” — Sapa

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

July unrest proves sparks of social unrest pose a risk...

Third quarter GDP numbers have interrupted a four quarter economic growth streak because of the July unrest.

Zimbabweans living in South Africa might not be able to...

According to the government’s latest Covid-19 guidelines, anyone coming into Zimbabwe must quarantine in a hotel for 10 days — at their own expense

Fraud case just one example of governance failings at Basketball...

The sport body’s former national administrator allegedly stole money by substituting his own bank account details for a service provider’s

Elderly land claimants wait in vain for restitution

While the government fails to adhere to its own deadlines, the clock is ticking for a group of Black people who were evicted from their land in the decade before apartheid ended
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×