15/11/2010 Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu during a media breakfast briefing held at Pretoria Gauteng. (169) Photo: Leon Nicholas

Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu met a mining industry task team on Monday to discuss health and safety in the mining sector.

They agreed on a set of recommendations to avoid inconsistencies on the application of Section 54 of the Mine Health and Safety Act, they said in a statement on Monday.

The mining industry growth development and employment task team was set up in December 2008.

The recommendations, which focused on stoppage notices at mines, were compiled by a team set up in January by the mineral resources department.

A section 54 notice is issued under the Mine Health and Safety Act when a mining inspector orders a work stoppage after a death or other accident at a mine.

Shabangu said she was pleased common ground on the issue had been found.

“... There is general consensus that there are challenges and there is a need for best practice to be drawn from incidents as we work towards the commitment of zero harm,” she said.

According to provisional figures from the department of mineral resources, 63 mineworkers have died in accidents between January 1

and June 30. This does not include deaths due to illegal mining. - Sapa