Amcu heads to court over safety regulations

The Association of Mineworkers Construction Union (Amcu) will head to the Labour Court on Wednesday to force the Department of Mineral Resources to set minimum standards for health and safety during the Covid-19 pandemic.

joseph mathunjwa amcu
Neo Motloung

Thousands of mineworkers are expected to return to work on Friday when companies ramp up production during level 4 of thelockdown.


Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa says the union engaged Minister Gwede Mantashe ahead of the court application, but to no avail.  


“We are saying that companies must have a minimum standard regulated and gazetted by the government. In other words, we are doing what is supposed to be done by the Department of Minerals and Energy, and it is disappointing that a trade union has to force the government or the DMRE to do what it is supposed to do.”


According to the new regulations open cast mines can have a full workforce, while underground mines will be able to continue with 50% of their workforce.

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Mathunjwa believes the issue of social distancing remains an issue as miners usually work in close proximity to each other.


“The fact of the matter is that no one knows how this coronavirus will end up. You cannot as a government rely on a company which pushes for profits and say to them they will be the ones that will prevent the pandemic. These companies normally cut corners with the mine health and safety act.”


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