The country’s two biggest mining unions, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union  (AMCU) and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM,) say the Mineral Resources department needs to ensure total adherence to health and safety standards.

Union officials were addressing the memorial service for four mine workers who died during a rockfall at Tau-Lekoa Gold mine in Klerksdorp in the North West last Friday.

The latest fatalities bring the total number of deaths at mines across the country this year to 39.

NUM President Joseph Montisetsi says: “The workers told us they were able to rescue the miner that is alive. After that a red tape was put and workers were told not to pass while people were inside crying.”

“This was told by workers who came inside carrying the bodies. I think by that time if workers lives were important, the Mineral Resource Department should have been there.”

Meanwhile, the Mineral Resources department says they are doing all they can to ensure that there are no deaths.

The Department’s David Msiza says: “As the Department we take responsibility of health and safety in our mines. As indicated that there’s been improvement but we cannot be happy because people are still loosing lives. In Klerksdorp companies are not doing well in terms of health and safety standards.”