The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] is shocked by the death of four mineworkers who were trapped underground after a seismic event at the Masakhane Mine owned by Sibanye Stillwater.
The national union is reiterating its call for the total shutdown of all Sibanye Stillwater operations up until they can guarantee the safety of workers. The company has been hogging headlines for all wrong reasons and its safety record continues to deteriorate by the day. Operations cannot continue while workers lose their lives and families lose breadwinners.
The safety and wellbeing of workers must be prioritised above the maximisation of profits. The fact that the company has not learned from its previous mistakes which resulted in fatalities further proves that they do not care about the safety of workers but they are more concerned the dividends their operations churn out. It is highly unacceptable that more attention is not paid to issues of health and safety of workers. As NEHAWU, we reiterate the call for a legislation that penalise companies who fail to put mechanisms in place to prevent the loss of lives in mines.
We would like to send our deepest condolences to the families of the workers and our sister union the National Union of Mineworkers [NUM] who lost their members. We hope their death will prompt mining companies to adhere to safety regulations and ensure that workers work in safe conditions. As NEHAWU, we commit ourselves to support the NUM in pushing a transformative agenda in the mining sector for the benefit of workers.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968;
December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969;
Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 082 455 2500 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za