The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Wednesday reported the death of five mineworkers at Aquarius Platinum’s Marikana operation in Rustenburg.
The workers, who are contracted to Murray and Roberts Cementation, died late on Tuesday night after a fall of ground.
NUM said two of the five bodies have been recovered and the operation to recover the other three bodies was underway.
It said another worker is in a critical condition in hospital while another was rescued unhurt.
“This is a disaster. At a time when the industry brags of its so called ‘improved safety’, we now have disasters raising their ugly heads again,” said Frans Baleni, the NUM General Secretary.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has also expressed shock following the fatalities and called for an immediate investigation into the accident.
“The number of accidents in South Africa’s mines remains far too high and all safety measures must be urgently reviewed so that the carnage can be ended,” Cosatu said.