BARBERTON – Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has called for “extraordinary measures” to be taken to ensure that the three mineworkers trapped at Lily Mine in Barberton were rescued.
On Monday, Zwane said the rescue teams would be reinforced to include rock engineers and other experts to assess the rock fall after a third ground collapse was reported at the mine on Sunday.
Three Lily Mine employees – Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Mabuza and Solomon Nyarenda – were working in a shipping container office when the entrance of the mine collapsed, leading to the container falling into the ground and being covered by huge rocks 10 days ago.
Seventy-six mineworkers were rescued on the day of the collapse.
Zwane visited the mine on Saturday to assess progress on the rescue operations and also spoke to family members of the mineworkers who were trapped underground.
“We have been advised that it would be best not to send anyone underground, but as soon as it has been declared safe to do so, the rescue teams will get back to work, as our main priority remains that of getting the three employees out,” Minister Zwane said in a statement.
Vantage Goldfields, owners of Lily mine, has offered R50 000 to each of the workers who were rescued earlier this month and R200 000 for the three workers who are still underground.
President Jacob Zuma has delegated Zwane; the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu; and the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, to provide support to the families of the miners who are still trapped underground