Venerdì, 05 Febbraio 2016 14:00 | Mine collapse: Portfolio committee calls for drastic measures to protect miners

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Cape Town - The Lily Mine collapse in Mpumalanga’s Nkomazi area underlines the need for drastic measures in the form of legislation were needed to ensure the protection of miners, portfolio committee

on mineral resources chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo said on Saturday.

"Our strong view is that accidents of this nature should not happen in the first place," he said.

In a statement, the committee said it was concerned that while the industry faced looming job cuts due to low commodity prices and other related factors, there seemed to be a competing challenge in the form of mine safety which was avoidable.

Luzipo said it was unacceptable that ordinary workers, most of whom are "Africans from destitute backgrounds, leave their families to go to work... only to come back injured or dead".

"Workers go to work in order to put bread on the table for their families and contribute to the growth of the economy, hence we do not expect them to come back dead or injured as if they had gone to the war."

A total of 76 miners were rescued after being trapped underground when the mine collapsed on Friday morning.

Three people are believed to still be trapped in the lamp room near the surface. It is used for the charging, servicing, and issuing all cap, hand, and flame safety lamps.

The rescued miners had sustained minor to moderate injuries ranging from breathing difficulties to lacerations.

The committee said they would meet with the minister of the Department of Mineral Resources to hear what would be done to ensure "zero harm in the future".

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