National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu says the union is concerned about health and safety in the mining sector, following an incident that took place at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Beatrix mine on Wednesday where almost a thousand miners were trapped for more than 30 hours.
Mammburu says Sibanye should have had contingency plans for when power fails, saying it was unacceptable that miners had to spend two night trapped underground.
Sibanye was caught off guard and it looks like they didn't know what to do.— Livhuwani Mammburu, NUM spokesperson
We are worried about the safety measures because close to thousand mine workers were trapped underground for two nights.— Livhuwani Mammburu, NUM spokesperson
Mammburu says it is worrying that there was no emergency exit route for when the cage is not working.
He says, usually, as a safety measure, the generators automatically kick in when there is a power failure.
Mammburu says he has received information that the generators have been poorly maintained, which resulted in miners being stuck underground due to the power failure.
He says the regional leadership of the NUM will be engaging with Sibanye management to find out what really transpired and to ensure that this doesn't happen again.
To hear more of this interview, listen below: