Pretoria - The search for three mine workers who are still trapped in a shaft at Vantage Goldfields Lily Mine has entered its second day.
And Mineral and Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said the tragedy should serve as a lesson to the mining industry on safety precautions.
The three workers have been identified as Pretty Nkambule, Yvone Mnisi and Solomon Nyerenda.
Zwane said the lamp room, a container, where they were working was stuck on the fourth shaft, covered and buried under tons of rubble.
“What is encouraging is that they are trapped in a shaft and we have found it. There is a lot of soil that fell. The container was on the surface and the rescuers are trying to remove the soil which fell on top,” he said.
He said they were hopeful the three would come out alive.
“We are sympathising with the families and community members, and we are hopeful that their loved ones will come out alive,” he said.
Zwane described the scene of the collapse at the mine as horrible.
“The scene is horrible. In fact, it is a tragedy that should teach the mining sector that we must be weary of the floor levels, and that they can be shaken at any stage,” said Zwane.
Standing at the entrance of the mine where 87 mineworkers were trapped when it collapsed on Friday morning, he said the rescue operation was ongoing.