6th February 2014 - Minister Susan Shabangu has confirmed that operations at Harmony Gold’s Doornkop mine will cease until the area has been declared safe for employees.
Speaking to media after a briefing by mine management on the incident, the Minister said no worker would be allowed on site and in areas affected by the incident.
“Once the last remaining employee has been found and the fire has been brought under control, we will then begin with an inquiry in terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act, to find out what led to this incident” Minister Shabangu said.
The Department’s inspectors, led by the Chief Inspector of Mines, have been on site since the day of the incident.
The Minister once again expressed her condolences to the families of the deceased, as well as management and co-workers at Harmony’s Doornkop mine.
“The incident is a lesson for us all. The gold industry has over the past five years improved its health and safety standards tremendously, and for such an incident to occur is obviously a setback,” Minister Shabangu said.
“As the Regulator, we must look at what happened and learn from it to ensure we can, as far as possible, prevent it in future,” she concluded.