South Africa has reported its safest year in mining in recent memory, with the government now calling for further improvements in the coming years. According to the country’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, the number of fatalities in the mining sector decreased by 39% in 2020, down from 73 in 2019 to 44 in 2020. This is the lowest rate since 2016, when the number of fatalities was 42.
The government is now pushing for even greater safety improvements in the mining sector in 2021 and beyond. Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe said that while the decrease in fatalities is a cause for celebration, there is still much work to be done. He has promised increased safety inspections and enforcement of safety regulations, as well as better training for workers and greater investment in safety technology.
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has also launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the importance of safety in the mining sector. This campaign has been designed to encourage workers to take more responsibility for their own safety, and to ensure that they understand the risks they face while on the job.
The government is also working to improve the physical infrastructure of the mines, with plans to modernize and upgrade existing facilities. This includes improved ventilation systems, better access to emergency services, and improved fire safety measures.
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has also promised to provide additional support for those affected by mining accidents. This includes providing financial assistance and counseling for families of those who have been injured or killed in the workplace.
Overall, the government of South Africa is committed to improving safety in the mining industry. With increased safety inspections, better training for workers, and increased investment in safety technology, the number of fatalities in the sector is expected to continue to decline in the coming years. The government is also providing additional support for those affected by mining accidents, acknowledging that the safety of workers is paramount.