Cape Town - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) on Wednesday evening called organisations with essential equipment and technology to come forward and assist in rescue operations to save the lives of three trapped workers at Lily Mine in Barberton, Mpumalanga.
Amcu’s national co-ordinator for health and safety, Gabriel Nkosi, issued the statement on behalf of the union, pleading for help, saying every minute that passes by without the workers being rescued was critical.
“We are imploring especially to organisations with the required equipment and advanced technology to come forward contribute in accelerating and resolving this devastating dilemma,” Nkosi said.
“We as Amcu are pleading and call upon big businesses, parastatals, and corporate organisations both locally and internationally to intervene in this difficult condition, and help in saving the lives of these mineworkers.”
Nkosi said Amcu was not second-guessing the efforts of the rescue team on site at the mine, but perhaps it was time the team was given assistance.
“We appreciate the sweat and hard work of the rescue personnel, but the progress in the efforts of salvaging the miners is not adequate at this current stage. Every minute that passes by reduces probabilities of finding them alive,” Nkosi said.
Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Mabuza and Solomon Nyarenda have been trapped underground since Friday after the lamp room container they were in fell into a sinkhole before it was covered by huge rocks.
The rescue teams have been working around the clock in a race against time to reach the three trapped miners in an operation that entered a “red alert” stage on Wednesday.
Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa spent the whole night underground with the rescue team trying to assist in recovering the workers.