17 August 2018 - NW1282
Jafta, Mr SM to ask the Minister of Mineral Resources
With reference to section 54 of the Mine Health and Safety Act, Act 29 of 1996, to what extent has he engaged all role-players in the mining sector concerning the perceived (a) opaque reasons often furnished by his department to close mines that seemingly have an adverse effect on the health and safety of employees and (b) attitude of employers with regard to work stoppages?
a) The Minister has previously engaged with stakeholders in the Mining Industry Growth Development Employment Task Team (MIGDETT) on section 54. There were also further engagement in the Mine Health and Safety Council. These structures consists of organised labour (NUM, AMCU, UASA, and Solidarity) employers (Minerals council of South Africa, South African Mining Development Agency). Mining companies either individually or collectively also meet with the Minister on section 54 enforcement.
b) There are general 3 types of response from the mining companies:
- Some mining companies accept the section 54 as being positive and adding value to management oversight to non-compliance to the Mine Health and Safety Act.
- Second group thinks that a different enforcement measure should have applied like section 55 instead of section 54. This group will accept the section 54 instruction with reservations.
- The last group is very antagonistic and challenges the decisions of the Inspector in the Labour Court for the section 54 to be varied or set aside. There are companies that have even sued the Department for loss of production after they were issued with a section 54 instruction.
Mr SG Mantashe, MP
Minister of Mineral Resources