Petro-Chemical giants company Sasol has developed new strategies to prevent fatalities in its operations. The company Chief Executive Officer Bongani Nqwababa revealed this during the opening of Shondoni Colliery mine in Secunda, Mpumalanga.
Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe attended the occasion.
Sasol employs over 31 000 people in all its operations around the world. About 90% of the workforce is in South Africa.
According to Sasol’s Chief Executive Officer, Bongani Nqwababa the company continues to invest significantly in the society.
Nqwababa says the opening of the Shondoni Colliery is part of a R14 billion new coal mining operations in the province. Other operations include the Thubelisha and Imphumelelo mine.
However, since the beginning of the year at least four workers were killed in some of its operations.
Nqwababa says new strategies have been developed to prevent further incidents. “We have identified areas that are critical to reduce these incidences with potential high severity outcomes, the focus areas we are looking at are lifesaving rules that are standardized across all our operations and offices mandatory, understanding human behaviour and how this is influenced pre task risk assessment identification and verification of controls and lastly not least institutionalising and sharing learning across the companies.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe has committed to assist people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get involved in the mining industry. According to Mantashe, getting people who were previously disadvantaged into the sector will ensure transformation.
The South African Youth Council in Mpumalanga welcomed the opening of the new mine. Chairperson of the Council, Sam Masango believes the mine will assist in alleviating the high unemployment rate of young people in the province.
“As young people of the province we appreciate any initiative of opening job opportunities to the young people, remember poverty is one of the three challenges that affect young people, remember that youth development is the responsibility of the public sector and the government.”
So far, over 2000 people have been employed at the new mine. Currently, mining operations contribute about 40% to the local Govan Mbeki Local Municipality’s Growth Domestic Product.