Emotional family members of the 13 deceased mineworkers who died in a lift shaft accident at Impala Platinum (Implats) mine gathered to remember their loved ones at Simunye grounds in Rustenburg, North West on Wednesday.
Out of the 13, eight of those killed in the accident come from the Eastern Cape.
The names of the miners who died were revealed after the families granted permission.
They are: Raselebedi Elias Ntoi, Lethola Qebe, Marumo Shasha, Siyabulela Nzume, Petrus Nare, Khayalethu Joel Bhekamane, Mcingeni Dlabone, Mncedisi Hukwana, Morena Mohlomi, Eric Fanisile Libad, Mandisi Nkulwana, Zwelethu Nomsuka and Vuyane Dlangazele.
Amcu lambasts mining companies
Speaking at the memorial service, the president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), Joseph Mathunjwa, said the Mine Health and Safety Act must be amended.
Mathunjwa said it was devastating that the mining companies are making trillions of rands at the expense of the workers’ lives.
“The workers who perished inside that mine shaft were earning a slave wage. The silence of the state president about the matter is too loud,” said Mathunjwa.
“One would have expected him to ask other mines to stand in solidarity with Impala mine workers, that no mine shaft is open in solidary to what happened here. But the competitors are busy working like nothing happened.
“It cannot be business as usual because Amcu contributed to the country’s fiscus.”
Implats offers to provide assistance
Implats CEO Nico Muller said the passing of the workers is an incredibly difficult time for the company and its employees, as they come to terms with the loss.
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and loved ones of those who have been affected,” said Muller.
He said the company will provide support and assistance to the affected families.
“We are committed to providing support and assistance to those who need it during this time of mourning, and we stand together in honouring their memory and providing solace to one another.”
Fifty more employees remain in the hospital and eight of those are in critical care.