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  |  Affiliates Press Statements

NUM deeply concerned by the death of more than 25 illegal miners in the Free State Province

18 May 2017

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is deeply concerned by the continued deaths of illegal miners in the Free State Province. More than 30 bodies are so far retrieved in Eland Shaft in Welkom, and this is a matter of serious concern.

"It seems it is becoming a norm and a business as usual. If not controlled, it will have a direct impact on permanent mineworkers in terms of health and safety. We are calling on the mining companies to take total control of disused shafts to prevent further deaths," says Erick Gcilitshana, NUM Health and Safety Secretary.

We are calling upon the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and the mining house to ensure that proper laws and procedures are followed during the mine closures.

This is not the first time illegal miners died at Eland Shaft. In 2009 more than 85 bodies of illegal miners were recovered on the same shaft. As things stand, already more than 40 illegal miners have died this year against 29 that have been killed in a formal underground work operation.

"We want to appeal to the task team led by DMR, established to look on the issues of illegal mining, to fast-track its work on dealing with the matter, including possible regulation of illegal mining", Gcilitshana added.

As the NUM, we wish to send our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased. May the souls of those who died rest in peace.

For more information, Please contact

Erick Gcilitshana: NUM Health and Safety Secretary: 082 809 3105

The National Union of Mineworkers

7 Rissik Street
Cnr Frederick
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257
Web: www.num.org.za
Twitter: @Num_Media
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NUM/100860023402167