Mining diminishing ore reserves in high-risk areas, ageing mineshaft infrastructure, production pressure and poorly structured production bonuses may have contributed to the increase in mine fatalities in 2021, the department of mineral resources & energy (DMRE) said this week.  

Without pre-empting the outcomes of the pending inquiries, the department said it had observed in its audits and inspections that a lack of support to employees and production pressures leading to some employees failing to exercise their right to withdraw or refuse to work under dangerous conditions in terms of the Mine Health & Safety Act, as well as poor job planning and inadequate risk assessment, may have added to the deaths. ..

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