ILO calls for more support for South African mine workers

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Goldminers and their supervisor in a mine near Johannesburg, South Africa. [file photo.1973] UN Photo/Pendl

More can be done to protect the health and safety of mine workers in South Africa, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).

This follows the killing last week of more than 30 miners when police fired on protesting workers at the Marikana platinum mines in the country's North West province.

ILO mining specialist Martin Hahn says South Africa has taken steps to improve mine conditions since the fall of apartheid.

"Nevertheless, there is still lots to be done especially when we look at the fact that this is an important industry for South Africa, it seems that South Africa should do more still to further bring down fatalities in mines and to also address the other related issues such as deaths through silicosis and diseases that typically can be contracted by miners."

Duration: 23″

According to Hahn, the number of mine fatalities in South Africa has dropped from around 500 per year in the 1990s to 128 in 2010.

The ILO says the mining industry in South Africa has boomed in recent years, with nearly three per cent of the working population employed in the sector.

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December 2017
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