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Rustenburg - Two mineworkers have died in a rockfall at Impala Platinum Mine near Rustenburg on Tuesday, the company said.

"I can confirm two employees were fatally injured in a rock fall incident at our No 12 shaft today. We are in the process of informing and supporting the next of kin and have initiated an investigation into the incident with the DMR [ department of mineral resource] and labour representatives," said spokesperson Johan Theron.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said it was shocked and angered by Impala Platinum Mine’s plans to retrench 2,126 jobs at its operations in Rustenburg.

"This came immediately after the company reported a 2017 financial year loss. retrenchments have become something of an excuse for mining companies who are typically insensitive to the plight of workers and their families, especially with the unemployment rate in the country sitting at 27 percent," said Rustenburg regional secretary Luxolo Mpafa.

"We are saddened and taken aback by such threats. We can confirm that as a region Impala Platinum informed us about their intention to retrench 2 126 workers. As NUM we are saying other alternatives should be explored, retrenchments must be last resort."

He said the NUM declared war against job losses, voluntary severance package and other untoward concocted means of destroying the lives of many families with dependants in labour-sending areas.

He said the union was concerned that when mining companies issue Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act they do not align it with Section 52 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) 2002.

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) also condemned the looming retrenchment.