License must be taken away from unsafe mines: Luzipo

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Portfolio Committee Chairperson on Mineral Resources Sahlulele Luzipo says it is “irresponsible” and “ridiculous” of Sibanye Stillwater mine to blame workers for the high number of deaths.

Luzipo questioned why Sibanye Stillwater is the worst when it comes to mine health and safety.

He said the committee should start taking away the license from companies that do not adhere to safety measures to make them accountable.

“Government must look at those who own the license to make them accountable. We are sitting with bodies that continued to pile.”

Luzipo, however, said even if steps were to be taken to take the license away, companies will take the state to court, adding that Sibanye was very good when it comes to litigation.

He said it is concerning to see more people dying in the mines than in the army.

Meanwhile, at the sideline of Sibanye on Tuesday Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe said there are signs of reckless conduct in the deaths of at least four miners at Stillwater’s Kloof Ikamva shaft.

Mantashe said his department will not hold back in dealing with Sibanye-Stillwater if the company is found to have broken any rules.

Miners are said to have died of heat exhaustion after going into a disused shaft in Westonaria on Monday.

This is the seventh tragedy at a Sibanye-Stillwater operation since the start of this year, and unions are calling on Mantashe to hold the mine accountable.

-Afro Voice Reporter