By 5 July, South Africa’s mining sector had recorded 32 deaths thus far in 2021, in contrast with 24 in the identical interval final 12 months. Regardless of the spike, the general pattern stays in the suitable path.
South Africa’s mining business has made strides on the well being and security entrance, however the noble objective of “zero hurt” stays elusive — and that might be the case till it is just robots that go underground.
Based on information compiled by business physique the Minerals Council South Africa, 309 miners had been killed on the job in 1999. That is about one a day, if Sundays are excluded.
By 2019, the physique depend had been slashed to 51, a report low over the previous century of the industrial-scale mining which constructed Africa’s most superior financial system whereas entrenching racial disparities in wealth and earnings that persist to this present day.
A variety of things have been behind these enhancements, together with strain from regulators, unions and buyers, with the latter more and more involved about ESGs — environmental, social and governance points. Mechanisation, the place the geology has allowed, has performed a job, together with the rollout of security nets and different initiatives in typical settings.
However worryingly, the toll rose…