A miner was killed in the early hours of Friday morning at Sibanye-Stillwater‘s Driefontein Hlanganani shaft in Carletonville in western Gauteng, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said.
NUM national spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said the miner died following a rock fall.
According to Mammburu, the mineworker was one of three mineworkers trapped while working the night shift. The other two survived the incident.
“The fatalities that are happening at Sibanye-Stillwater are totally unacceptable. One death is one death too many. We sell our labour, not our lives, lungs, and limbs,” Mammburu added.
Spokesperson for the mine, James Wellsted, said that the company was investigating the event.
“The guys were working stroke face, where they were blasting the reef and as they advance, they put up supports to hold the roof up,” Wellsted told News24.
“These guys were putting up temporary supports and while they were doing that, some rock fell out.”
Last month, seven workers were killed during a seismic event at the company‘s Masakhane mine operation.
At the time, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said mine safety had become a human rights issue and that legislation should be strengthened to hold mining bosses criminally accountable for failing to ensure safety at operations.
AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa said the mining companies should also face civil claims when accidents, such as the Sibanye-Stillwater incident, happen.
“It is simply ludicrous that the life of a mineworker is worth a mere 36 months of basic salary. AMCU has proposed a system much similar to the Road Accident Fund (RAF), in order to compensate workers and their families when these tragic events occur,” he said.