Shabangu defends safety stoppages
Cape Town - South Africa’s mines minister said on Tuesday
the platinum industry’s contribution to fatalities in the mining sector
remained a “serious concern” and defended safety stoppages which she said had
contributed to a drop in accident rates.
The South African platinum sector has been battered by
oversupply, squeezed margins and an uncertain economic outlook, making
producers increasingly vocal about regulatory pressures, particularly the
impact of inspections and stoppages as part of the government’s zero-harm
“The department has been greatly concerned about lack of
improvement in compliance and fatalities in the major platinum mines,” Susan
Shabangu, Mineral Resources Minister, said.
“The platinum sector contributes alone contributes about 30%
of all fatalities which remains a serious concern.”
Shabangu, addressing delegates at an annual mining
gathering, also said the governing African National Congress (ANC) had
reinforced in a key policy document that nationalisation, long feared by the
country’s mining industry, was not a viable option.
“I must indicate that we welcome the fact that the report of
the ANC task team on nationalisation has reinforced the ANC’s earlier decision
that nationalisation is not a viable policy for South Africa,” she said.