A total of 51 people lost their lives in mine accidents in 2019, down 37 percent from the 2018 record of 81 fatalities, said the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe on Friday.

Mantashe told a press briefing about the mine health and safety statistics for the 2019 calendar year. He stated that while mining sector presents excellent economic opportunities, focus must also be on the environment and interests of all stakeholders.

“Sixty years ago, 435 mine workers lost their lives during the Coalbrook disaster. Since then, we have made significant strides. In the year 2019, 51 fatalities were reported versus 81 in the year 2018, this translate to a 37 percent improvement in the number of fatalities year on year. This is the lowest ever number of fatalities on record,” said Mantashe.

He said there was a 2 percent improvement on injuries in 2019 which were 2,406 compared to 2,447 in 2018. He stated that they will not be complacent with improvement in mining fatalities but will engage all stakeholders to bring it to zero.

“We are doing relatively better than we expected, we have improved dramatically, but let’s aim for a fatality-free mining industry. The health and safety campaigns throughout the year have demonstrated that significant improvements in results can be achieved,” he said. Enditem

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