Fin24

Shabangu defends safety stoppages

2012-02-07 10:33

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 target.

“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.