SA Needs to Pull Off a Chile for Trapped Miners

Andrew Louw, MPL

DA Northern Cape: Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance is calling on the South Africa government to pull out all the stops in the attempted rescue of the unknown number of people still trapped underground at the Bontekoe Mine in Kleinzee, in Namaqualand.

Only last year, did the Chilean government set an inspiring example of how far they were prepared to go to save a life. Their record 69 day rescue operation, which many thought impossible, set a precedent for the world to follow. We call on our government to follow a similar no holds-barred approach. Chile didn’t attach a financial price tag or a time limit to their rescue operation. We expect the South Africa government to do the same.

While the DA takes cognizance of the fact that the trapped miners were not underground with the consent of the mine, this is not reason to attach a lesser value to their lives than one would attach to the lives of others. Illegal mining is wrong but in South Africa, it also forms part of a much bigger problem that has not received adequate attention from our government – high unemployment rate and poverty levels.

The DA sympathizes with the friends and family of those who have already been confirmed dead. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to those who are still trapped underground. Their loved ones must not give up hope and neither will we. We only hope that our government shares these sentiments.

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