Amcu has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene against the death of workers at Sibanye-Stillwater's operations. Picture: Itumeleng English

Johannesburg - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in the deaths of workers at Sibanye-Stillwater's operations. 

Sibanye confirmed on Tuesday that a fourth mineworker had died at its Kloof Ikamva shaft near Westonaria, south-west of Johannesburg, following what was suspected to be a gassing accident, bringing the total number of deaths at the mine's operations to 19 this year.

"The union again calls for the urgent intervention of the state president to address this tragic state of affairs, by amongst others amending the safety legislation to enable greater rights to refuse in hazardous situations," Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said in a statement.

"We now call upon President Ramaphosa to urgently intervene and address this issue. Amcu would like to see the Mine Health and Safety Act amended to give more power to workers and trade unions to address safety issues, in order to counter the power of mining bosses."

Three mineworkers died at the Kloof shaft on Monday and two others had remained trapped underground at the mine after five mineworkers entered an abandoned working area.

One worker is still missing and specialised proto teams have been working through the night to locate and retrieve the him but it was uncertain how long the retrieval process would take.

Kloof mine is a shallow to ultra-deep level gold mine consisting of five producing shaft complexes that mine open hound and pillars with the deepest operating level some 3 347 metres below surface.

Mathunjwa said that the union's attempts to garner support and requests of interventions by mining minister Gwede Mantashe and Ramaphosa had not yet yielded results.

On Monday rival labour group National Union of Mineworkers also said it was "angry and concerned" at the rate at which mining incidents were happening at Sibanye-Stillwater's operations. 

African News Agency (ANA)