FILE PHOTO: South Africa's Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane
CAPE TOWN - Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane yesterday appealed for “extra caution” on health and safety in mines, saying he was concerned about tragic accidents in the industry and his department would increase inspections. 

Zwane made his comments in reaction to the fall of ground incident at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu Mine, near Carletonville in Gauteng on Friday. 

Five miners were trapped underground. Three bodies have since been recovered. 

The 1.8 magnitude seismic event, about 3100 metres below the surface, occurred at around 10.30am causing a 10-metre fall of ground. 

Mine rescue teams brought the first body to the surface on Saturday. Another body was retrieved on Sunday. The third body was brought to the surface yesterday morning. 

Two miners remain unaccounted for. 

“We are concerned about the accidents we are seeing in the industry. We are asking that employers and the workforce remain alert and continue to prioritise safety. As the regulator we will be increasing inspections,” Zwane said. 

“We continue to engage with business and labour unions to look at how we can together ensure that the positive strides we have made on health and safety are not reversed.”