Avatar photo

By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Impala Mine tragedy: ‘If I was president of this country heads would roll’

The miners were killed when the cage transporting them plunged back 200m underground after a cable malfunctioned.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said the accident that claimed the lives of 11 miners at the Impala Platinum Mine could have been avoided, adding that it was due to “pure negligence”.

The miners were killed when the cable transporting them underground malfunctioned leading to a 200m plunge in Mine Shaft 11.

Another 75 were injured in the accident on Monday afternoon, which brought mine safety back into the spotlight.


NUM Rustenburg’s Regional Secretary Geoffrey Moatshe told eNCA the accident could have been avoided.

“There is no human error, it is pure negligence. This thing is expected to carry workers on a daily basis to and from underground. If these things are not properly serviced, people are obsessed with production they are not going to address the issues of safety in mines.

“We are calling for workers to be united in the issue of safety. It is December. We know people are eager to just get bonuses, but that should not be the reason for us to lose lives,” Moatshe said.

ALSO READ: Death of miners ‘darkest day in history of Implats’ − CEO

Mine safety

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) President Joseph Mathunjwa said safety at mines is of paramount importance.

“The safety measures should be checked regularly. For a lift of this magnitude to fail and crash [is unacceptable]. If I was president of this country heads would roll, but [they] won’t. Inquiries have become the new normal because our tolerance is too high”


Meanwhile, The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said it was shocked to hear of the deaths at Impala Platinum Rustenburg mine at Shaft 11. According to Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola the union represents contract workers at Implats who work at Shaft 11.

“This incident is gravely concerning and it raises a lot of questions about health and safety issues. Numsa dips its revolutionary red flag to mourn the loss of these workers. They are not just numbers, they are breadwinners and they have households who love them, and depend on them.

“We send our deepest condolences to their families and friends for this tragic loss of life,” Hlubi-Majola said.

ALSO READ: Impala Mine to remain closed after cage with miners plunges

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits