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By Faith Nyasuguta 

The mines of South Africa have recorded some 32 deaths for the first six months of 2021.

This is as compared to 24 deaths in the same period last year, the ministry of mines said on Thursday.

South Africa, which has one of the deepest mines in the globe with some up to 4km (2.5 miles) deep, has seen a plummet in safety as seen by records.

Last year, the death toll was up by 18 per cent in 2020.

“We are still greatly concerned that we are still experiencing these accidents,” David Msiza, the chief inspector of mines Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s chief inspector said.

The injuries during mining between January and June also shot to 1,066 from 679 during the same period in 2020.

This, according to Msiza comes despite the Covid-19 lockdown meaning that mines were not fully operational last year.

For both the platinum and gold sectors, rock falls which include seismic events are still a key difficulty.

Similarly, accidents tied to transport often affect the coal and platinum segments.

“In 2021 we are seeing a worsening of the fatality trend, this is not acceptable to the Minerals Council and our members,” Nolitha Fakude, the Minerals Council president said.

For decades, a number of workers on mining sites observe minimal safety measures that unions, investors, and communities have raised concerns about.

The safety levels have also contributed to the low valuations of South Africa’s operating companies, unlike their global peers.

South African miners /courtesy/
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Faith Nyasuguta

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South African mine/courtesy/