Safety At BCL Mine A Concern

The collapse of a mine shaft at the Selebi Phikwe BCL mine on 18th July 2015 was yet another shocking incident that claimed the lives of three innocent young Batswana.

The lives of Andrew Ofentse, Obonetse Jim and Tebogo Josiah cannot be replaced by any form of compensation. What is even more disturbing is the fact that this incident follows hardly five months after another that claimed the lives of two miners at the same mine. We are yet to know and understand what went wrong for the first incident to occur and before our tears could dry for the first two miners, we are faced with yet another sorrowful moment of losing our comrades.

Hardly two weeks ago, the BCL Managing Director, Mr. Dan Mahupela was quoted in the local media blaming workers for failure to adhere to safety measures and thus responsible for fatal accidents. However, preliminary evidence coming from the mine as reported by our local media and from Botswana Federation of Trade Unions Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU) affiliate, the Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) indicate that contrary to Mr. Mahupela’s ascertains, management has slept on its job leading to the recent accident. It is common course that workers do not plan what to work on and what safety measures are required. Let alone they cannot decide on the levels of safety that should be put in place to execute any work. In fact, workers have lost their jobs for protesting against poor safety measures. So to blame workers for failure of safety systems at BCL mine is an insult to the workforce and hiding from the responsibility the mine should take.

Editor's Comment
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