In his first media conference after taking over as the Chief Executive of the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, Mr Bheki Sibiya reiterated the Chamber of Mines' commitment to the improvement of safety in South Africa's mines.
Noting that figures for 2010 released by the Department of Mineral Resources indicated a 24% improvement on the recorded 2009 fatalities in the mining industry, Mr Sibiya expressed sadness that 128 mineworkers lost their lives last year. "Our vision is that every mine worker should go home unharmed every day and we are therefore deeply saddened by the death of so many of our colleagues.
"The 24% improvement makes 2010 the best safety year in South Africa's mining history. We are grateful for the co-operation we have received from the Department of Mineral Resources, the leadership of organised labour and fellow mine workers in addressing issues of health and safety in South Africa's mines. We also recognise the hard work of Chamber members, each of which have their own programmes to improve health and safety. Without the involvement and co-operation of all these stakeholders, it would have been impossible to have achieved these results. We hope that in working together with government and unions to accelerate the implementation of the 2008 Tripartite Action Plan on Health and Safety, more progress will be made in the year ahead. The Chamber of Mines and its members are committed to this".
The media conference was held to brief members of the media on the mining industry's safety initiatives of 2010 and plans for further improvements in 2011. These include initiatives such as the Learning Hub - which the Chamber established in 2009 to encourage mining companies to actively learn from the pockets of excellence in the industry - and other initiatives such as the culture transformation framework intended to entrench a more participative and caring culture within the mining industry.
To download the Mine Safety presentation, click here.