Parliament’s portfolio committee on mineral resources on Friday welcomed the successful rescue of all mineworkers trapped underground at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Beatrix mine in the Free State.
About 950 workers were trapped underground for over 30 hours as a result of a power outage caused by a severe storm on Wednesday.
Eskom restored power in the early hours of Friday morning after attempts to rescue the workers using generators failed.
Chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo said the committee commended all the engineers who worked hard to make sure everything was restored at the mine.
“We would like to extend our appreciation to Eskom engineers who worked tirelessly to restore power. However, this good news will not absolve mine management from being held accountable,” Luzipo said.
The committee said it expected the Mineral Resources Department to act swiftly and take drastic action against such acts of carelessness, including exploring possibilities of laying criminal charges against mine management for attempted murder.
Meanwhile, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane is expected to visit the Beatrix mine, together with provincial MECs.