Sibanye Stillwater must brief committee on safety incidents – Solly Malatsi

DA MP says closer scrutiny of miner's operations is fully justified considering recent spate of accidents

DA calls for Sibanye Stillwater to brief committee on safety incidents

26 June 2018

The recent spate of fatal accidents at Sibanye Stillwater operations across the country necessitates an urgent briefing by the company to the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources.

As such, the DA will be writing to the Chairperson of the committee, Sahlulele Luzipo, to schedule an emergency meeting for the company to brief it.

The latest incident at Sibanye’s Khomanani Mine, which claimed the life of a mineworker, reportedly brings to 21 the number of miners who have lost their lives at Sibanye Stillwater operations this year. According to reports, fatalities at Sibanye Stillwater operations account for more than a third of all mining fatalities in South Africa this year.

Indeed, Sibanye CEO, Neal Froneman, has admitted that the company had seen a “regression in safety performance” and has attributed the majority of accidents to human error. This, however, does not absolve the company from their responsibility to ensure that safety standards at their operations is up to the highest possible standard.

While the DA is fully cognisant of the fact that deep-level mining is notoriously dangerous, we are also conscious of the fact that there was an increase in mining fatalities in South Africa for the first time in a decade in 2017; on current projections 2018 might register another increase.

The DA believes that closer scrutiny of Sibanye Stillwater operations is fully justified considering the recent spate of incidents and, in addition to investigations by the company, the Mining Health and Safety Inspectorate and the Department of Mineral Resources, a briefing to the committee should be scheduled urgently.

While the recent spate of mining accidents are by no means limited to Sibanye Stillwater operations, we call on the company, as the largest deep-level mining company in the country, to display leadership and their dedication to transparency by taking the portfolio committee into their confidence about the challenges facing them and the industry more generally.

The thousands of men and women who work in South Africa’s mines deserve the highest possible safety standards and a commitment of the mining industry that safety is paramount.

Issued by Solly Malatsi, DA National Spokesperson, 26 June 2018