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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

Coega accident

14 November 2003

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is shocked at the accident at the Coega project in the Eastern Cape, when a bridge under construction collapsed. We send our condolences to the families and friends of the two people killed and best wishes to the 18 injured for a speedy and complete recovery.  We welcome the prompt intervention of the officials from the Department of Labour who visited the site and halted construction. We support the Department's decision to conduct a full-scale investiga tion into the incident and its instruction to officials to investigate whether the construction company was registered with the compensation fund and the unemployment insurance fund.  COSATU is concerned that the number of accidents at work, particul arly in the construction industry, is unacceptably high, and totally endorses the Department of Labour spokesperson's assurance that they "will not tolerate companies that put profits before safety of workers".

The Coega development has the potential to create many jobs and regenerate the Eastern Cape economy but this must not be at the expense of workers' lives and safety. COSATU demands a crackdown on unsafe practices and rigorous monitoring of all safety r egulations.

Patrick Craven Acting COSATU Spokesperson

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