Questions are being asked about the power supply at the Sibanye Beatrix mine in the northern Free State, now that over 900 miners have been safely rescued.
The rescue began slowly because of the lack of electricity in some of the shafts. The miners had been trapped underground following a power outage at four shafts caused by a violent storm on Wednesday night.
Mining union Amcu’s president Joseph Mathunjwa has slammed mine management for the lack of power delaying the rescue.
He says, “We have been saying that these mines are not investing in prevention, and the reason for that is very simple, is because they pay low wages. So to get a high quality of safety measures is too expensive for them, so there is no investment when it comes to prevention, and there is no contingency plan, no generators. If there were generators, they’re not in a working condition. They had to go to other mine Harmony to go and borrow generators. These mines are pushing production at the expense of the lives of the workers.”