BCL employees this week called for the resignation of the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water resource Kitso Mokaila over a continuing spate of fatal and near fatal accidents at the Selibe Phikwe mine.
The aggrieved employees who also called for the sacking of the BCL Director Daniel Mahupela following an accident that left one employee in a critical condition on Monday this week.The employees aired their grievances and concerns over their welfare and safety at a meeting address by MP for Selibe Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse this week. About two weeks ago four employees perished in a fatal accident at the mine putting the company’s safety standards under scrutiny.
“When four miners perished in the recent accident, we saw their corpses but we were never received counseling for trauma,” said a BCL employee who preferred anonymity. “To this day, we have never been given an explanation as to what claimed the lives of the deceased.”
In addition, veteran BCL employee Leonard Kebonang who has been working for the mine for 24 years opined that safety was virtually non-existent at the decades old coal mine. “Safety is compromised, they are not cautious about our lives, there are more concerned of the production,” said Kebonang who is currently working at the BCL smelter.
“The minister (Mokaila) has not set a foot here, not even once since the accident,” one of the employees alleged at the meeting. The miner further alleged that employees injured at the mine are not paid accordingly, adding that the same cage, which claimed the lives of the four people in the fatal accident, has not been fixed yet.
For his part, Keorapetse said he recently presented the issue at parliament but the minister concerned seemed puzzle and in dark on the matter. However, he agreed with some of the miner’s sentiments that time was up for the company’s management as the mine started facing problems since they took over.