By Mthokozisi Dube
THE Government has taken a deliberate move to engage small scale miners on safety issues after the mining sector recorded more than 100 fatalities this year.
After the country recorded 110 mining-related deaths this year, the government has moved in to address the issue through an outreach programme in mining areas.
Speaking during an outreach in Zvishavane, Chief Government Engineer Michael Munodawafa said the figures are not pleasing considering they are mostly a result of negligence.
“Our mine fatality figures are not good hence we decided as the government to conduct this outreach before the onset of the rainy season. We are pleased by the turn-out by small scale miners and we hope the discussions we had with them will motivate behavioural change,” he said.
The Zvishavane Mberengwa Miners Association has since welcomed the move as a step in the right direction.
“We are happy to see them coming preaching the safety gospel. A safe mining environment will drive us to achieve our set targets,” said Themba Sibanda.
Cases of mine shaft collapses which are rampant during the rainy season are the immediate concern, while negligence associated with improper storage of mining explosives has also resulted in the loss of lives in mining communities.