Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe on Tuesday urged mining companies to give consistent priority attention to fall of ground and seismic-related accidents as health and safety is a key area of concern, saying that his department would assist where it can.
Tabling the department of mineral resource’s R1.9 billion Budget Vote in Parliament on Tuesday, Mantashe said the 2017 calendar year was the first time in 10 years where a regression in the number of fatalities was reported in the mining industry, with the gold sector being the leading contributor.
“Together with the Mine Health and Safety Council, Council for Geoscience, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, organised labour, employers, as well as industry experts in rock engineering and seismology, the department is paying special attention into the issue of seismicity,” Mantashe said.
“There are also improvements worth noting in health and safety, which include the 11% decrease in the number of injuries in 2017, as well as a 29% reduction in the number of occupational diseases reported.”
Mantashe said the department will host the Mine Health and Safety Summit in November to assess progress made in attaining the objective of “zero harm” and to chart a way forward. Since the beginning of 2018, a total of 33 fatalities have been reported.