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Mines must collaborate on Safety

South Africa. In an interview on ClassicFM @ 18:00 on Monday, 3 December 2007, president of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Senzeni Zokwana said African mining companies could reduce fatalities at their mines if they shared Safety practices.

“Given the recent price of gold they obviously need to mine more, resulting in miners having to dig deeper for gold. This is very risky.”

The death toll on South Africa’s mines has surpassed the 199 recorded in 2006. This is despite a commitment from the mining houses in 2003 they would lower the fatality rate at their operations by 20% a year, efforts intended to pull the industry into line with its Australian and North American peers by 2013.

“We do appreciate what the president has done in terms of the (Safety) audit. But there are several recommendations of the Health and Safety Act that government is not taking seriously,” said Zokwana.

“The Act, for instance, states that every mine boss should be held liable and should have to appear before the court of law for every death, but that has never happened,” he said.

Deaths reported over the weekend by Gold Fields, Xstrata and Anglo Platinum had pushed the toll to 201 this year.

Source:  (2007/12/04)

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