One life lost due to mining accidents was one too many‚ and companies are concerned only about profits, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday.
Ramaphosa was speaking at the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) elective congress in Boksburg‚ East Rand.
He said he placed safety at a high level and was concerned to see more and more miners dying.
"One life lost is one too many‚ and companies have placed profits over safety. Mineworkers must never ever work in dangerous places. You must refuse to work in a dangerous place‚" he said.
Ramaphosa said mineworkers should be respected as key stakeholders. He would spare no effort to deal with challenges facing the mining sector, he said.
"It’s a sunrise industry and we can reposition it to make it a viable industry."
He said the country still appreciated the role of mining in the growth of the economy.
SA has already lost 45 lives this year in mines‚ 20 of them at Sibanye mines. Just this week‚ five mineworkers from Sibanye-Stillwater’s Kloof Ikamva shaft were mourned at a memorial.