Mining deaths drop by 26%: Solidarity

Mining fatalities in the first nine months of 2010 dropped by about 26% compared to the same period in 2009, trade union Solidarity said on Monday.

“The number of mining fatalities reached 97 this week after a fatal accident at Simmers & Jack’s Tau Lekoa mine near Klerksdorp last night,” the union said.

This brought the number of mining fatalities this past week to three after an earth tremor led to the death of two workers at Harmony’s Bambanani mine in the Free State.

Meanwhile the so-called “silly season” lay ahead, Solidarity said.

“Mining accidents usually increase sharply over the last two months of the year.”

Mines and mineworkers regarded November and December as a critical period for increasing mine security because this period was notorious for its relaxed safety measures, which could ultimately lead to an increase in the number of mining accidents.

Fatalities drop by three a week
Solidarity said that in 2007, 221 mineworkers — or more than four workers per week — died at the country’s mines.

The figure dropped to 165 by 2009 — or just over three workers per week.

“According to provisional data from the department of mineral resources, 96 workers — or just over two workers per week — have died in the first nine months of 2010, compared to 129 fatalities in the same period last year,” said Paul Mardon, Solidarity’s head of occupational health and safety.

Just under half of this year’s mining fatalities — 46 fatalities –occurred in gold mines, while 24 fatalities were caused by accidents at platinum mines.

“Mines in North West are the deadliest in South Africa,” Mardon said.

“The number of mining fatalities has dropped in seven of the nine provinces compared to last year, but most of the mining fatalities still occurred in North West (34), followed by Gauteng (20) and then the Free State (17).”

The number of mining accidents dropped by 31 percent from 2 613 accidents during January to September 2009 to 1801 accidents in the same period this year.

Mardon said 54% of this year’s accidents occurred in North West. — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G for R2 a month

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

And for this weekend only, you can become a subscriber by paying just R2 a month for your first three months.

Related stories

Indians in South Africa, a historical excerpt

In the book, The Indian Africans, academic Kiru Naidoo explores the society of colonial Natal in the late 1800s to early 1900

A colossus with feet of clay

South Africa is disproportionately targeted by cybercriminals. Digital attacks call for digital solutions and technology is a the prime weapon in this fight

The president, the preacher and the great escape

Malawi’s new president was furious after Shepherd Bushiri’s dramatic disappearance from South Africa

Xolobeni activist receives death threat

In an environment where activism against mining is becoming increasingly deadly, Nonhle Mbuthuma’s life may be at risk

Patel: South Africa on target to attract R1.2-trillion in investments

The trade minister says the country is on track to reach more than R1-trillion worth of investments over five years, despite Covid-19 disruptions

South Africa must revisit and refresh its idea of itself

Covid has propelled citizens into feelings of a new shared identity in which the historical force of ‘whiteness’ is fading into irrelevance

Subscribers only

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

Q&A Sessions: ‘I think I was born way before my...

The chief executive of the Estate Agency Affairs Board and the deputy chair of the SABC board, shares her take on retrenchments at the public broadcaster and reveals why she hates horror movies

More top stories

DRC: Tshisekedi and Kabila fall out

The country’s governing coalition is under strain, which could lead to even more acrimony ahead

Editorial: Crocodile tears from the coalface

Pumping limited resources into a project that is predominantly meant to extend dirty coal energy in South Africa is not what local communities and the climate needs.

Klipgat residents left high and dry

Flushing toilets were installed in backyards in the North West, but they can’t be used because the sewage has nowhere to go

Nehawu leaders are ‘betraying us’

The accusation by a branch of the union comes after it withdrew from a parliamentary process

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…