JOHANNESBURG, October 12 – South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Friday it was concerned over the rising number of fatalities in all three sectors, namely mining, energy, and construction, which employ it members.
The comments came after an employee at state power utility died on Wednesday and another was injured after an accident at Unit 5 of its Lethabo power station in Free State province. Both were NUM members.
NUM said the Lethabo incident followed a fatality that it could have been avoided at Kusile power station where an Eskom contractor died when storage equipment fell on him.
“This is becoming a trend which should be deemed as the wake-up call for Eskom management,” NUM health and safety chairperson Duncan Luvuno said.
“They should stop arrogance and engage organised labour as partners in leadership and seek lasting sustainable solutions. We are however going to allow the enquiry to give us answers of what really happened.”
NUM said its national and regional leadership had visited the company on Thursday and engaged with Eskom senior management on the incident.
“Whilst we appreciate the spirit of cooperation by the company during our meeting, NUM believes there is a lot of improvement that should take place pertaining to seriousness in which Eskom takes stakeholders like trade unions on matters such as these,” it said.
“We agreed yesterday as parties that employees should be released at 14h30 to go back home and we will monitor what will happen going forward.” (ANA)