The DMR on Friday reported that fatalities had fallen 10percent in 2018 to 81 from 90 in 2017 and 73 in 2016, when the industry recorded the lowest fatalities. The department said so far this year there had been five fatalities compared with 14 during the same period in 2018 as the government, labour and business strengthened their partnership.
Mantashe said mine fatalities should never be handled with emotions. “If we do that, we will set the industry alight. What is important is that when there are fatalities we must deal with them,” he said, adding that the fatalities had to be analysed and understood.
“Criminal charges are necessary, but it cannot be a formula for dealing with mine accidents. My own view is that where a manager is negligent, that manager must be charged. It cannot be that every time there is a death there is an arrest. There will be nobody left to run the industry,” said Mantashe.
Earlier on Friday, Joseph Mathunjwa, the president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), called on Mantashe to work with the union in amending the Mine Health and Safety Act.