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By Brian Sokutu

Senior Print Journalist

Mine health and safety observed

Sibanye-Stillwater chief executive Neal Froneman says his company is encouraged by the commitment of all stakeholders.

Plagued by a string of mine fatalities – with the latest figure standing at 21 since February – Sibanye-Stillwater is to introduce new plans to address health and safety weaknesses at its operations.

Speaking after the health and safety summit on Friday attended by company, labour and government representatives, Sibanye-Stillwater spokesperson James Wellsted expressed confidence that the newly crafted strategy, supported by key stakeholders, was “a significant milestone for the mining industry”.

According to Wellsted, all parties at the summit committed themselves to a joint safety pledge and a plan of action to address health and safety issues at the company operations.

High-ranking officials in attendance represented the department of mineral resources, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity, and the United Association SA.

Wellsted said: “The parties have committed to working together to make the workplaces safer, protect jobs, and collaborate on all matters pertaining to the health, safety, and well-being of workers.”

The safety pledge reads: “As organised labour, the DMR [department of mineral resources], and the management of Sibanye-Stillwater, we acknowledge the party’s statutory obligation and workers’ rights that our destiny is shared and commit ourselves, through constructive,  transparent collaboration and compliance, to achieving zero harm.

“Further engagements to involve relevant role players are planned with operational leadership teams across all Sibanye-Stillwater operations and cross-sector working groups will be put in place to monitor the implementation of the plan of action.

”Sibanye-Stillwater chief executive Neal Froneman said his company was “encouraged by the commitment of all stakeholders” to address safety challenges at its operations.

“The recognition of the shared responsibility on health and safety, and the collaboration of all stakeholders towards a common goal is a significant step towards building an industry that is sustainable.” – brians@citizen.co.za

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