07/02/2015 Members of various churchs, family members and colleagues and of the missing three mine workers gather near the entrace to Vantage Goldfields Lily Mine to pray for the trio's return. Rescue mission continued for the third day after a collapse occured at the mine. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Cape Town - South African President Jacob Zuma on Monday requested the nation to “keep in their thoughts and prayers the families of the three mineworkers” still trapped at the Lily mine in Barberton.

The mineworkers have been trapped since Friday.

Read: Hopes, prayers for trapped miners

“This is a very difficult period for the affected families as they wait and pray for their loved ones to be found in good health,” Zuma said in a statement.

“Let us keep them in our thoughts and prayers. We wish the rescue teams all the strength and wisdom possible as they execute their difficult task.”

The management at the mine reported on Monday that rescue teams had established audio communication with the trapped miners, raising hope that the three men were still alive.