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LIMUSA Statement on the persisting fatalities at Sibanye Stillwater
13 June 2018
The Liberated Metalworkers Union of South Africa (LIMUSA) is angered by the persisting fatalities at Sibanye Stillwater.
LIMUSA has noted for some time the consistent butchering of mine workers at Sibanye Stillwater. The latter is simultaneous to the pathetic reasoning of the management of the company every time there are fatalities at the mine. It is totally unacceptable that every time there are fatalities, the management of Sibanye Stillwater will quickly look for an excuse and someone to blame.
Hardly ever a month since the last incident at the mine, the country again witness another fatality due to the recklessness of the mines. Due to the lack of commitment to safety at the mine, workers are going to the mine to work and go back home in coffins. More worrying is that even when families loose their bread winners, the mine will only follow normal processes of transportation, pay out of pension funds, but do not even give trauma support services to the families and workers who go through the trauma caused by their reckless actions.
We are shocked by the level of reasoning of this company every time there are fatalities. During the incident at Betrix Mine earlier this year, where 955 miners were trapped following an electric cable outage, the mine shifted the blame to Eskom, and made useless excuses for not having backup energy sources. Last month during the seismic event at Sibanye Stillwater's Masakhane mine, where seven workers lost their lives, the mine equally shifted the blame and failed to take responsibility of their actions. The company failed take responsibility of the fact that they were supposed to have called out the workers during the first seismic event.
It is not a surprise, but equally pathetic, that the company has recently blamed the none compliance of workers for their deaths. The excuse that the company has been conducting training to workers that they should not agree to go to places which are not safe is illogical. It is the mine that should not send workers to such places.
LIMUSA calls for the company to be investigated and for the company to be charged. We call on the Department of Mineral Resources to take action against the mine. The lives of workers should be prioritized above profits for mining bosses.
We have noted that the government is not consistent in confronting the mining sector and taking decisive actions against the shenanigans of the sector. We call on the government not to be apologetic and be decisive in confronting the mining sector.
We join COSATU in calling for the Departments of Labour and Mineral Resources to stop watching from the sidelines while the workers are being maimed and killed by the mining sector's poor safety standards.
Issued by LIMUSA
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