The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will picket outside the offices of the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg on Thursday to demand improvements in safety at mines.

The unions will picket at the Chamber of Mines in light of last week’s mining disaster were seven mine workers died after being trapped underground following a rock fall at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Driefontein mine on the west of Gauteng.

A total of 27 mine workers have died since the beginning of this year, which has raised questions about safety in mines.

Cosatu’s Sizwe Pamla says they are disturbed that safety in the mining sector is deteriorating.

Pamla says,”We are going there to remind the Chamber of Mines that we are not selling our lives as the workers, we are selling our labour and that workers are not glorified slaves. So they should be protected and that safety should come first before profits…”

“A couple of months ago we had 1100 workers trapped underground. A month later we had 6 workers burnt alive on their way to work. We are not a country in a war zone. So we feel that government’s indifference is really allowing the mining sector to implode.”