Despite having a regulatory framework in place that empowers government entities including the ministry of labour, department of Mines and Ministry of Health to conduct joint mines inspection in a bid to ensure adherence to good safety standards, not much was being done due to inter-ministerial coordination challenges. The challenges emanated from lack of a proper coordination platform for the 3 government entities.
The coming in of the Southern Africa TB and Health Systems Support Project has broken the barriers that were making the 3 entities fail to meet regularly and carry out their respective roles in ensuring adherence to good safety standards in the mining sector.
The resulting effect of this well coordinated planning and execution of activities has been the benefits that workers in mines have since began to enjoy. “Through the regular joint mines inspection, mine companies have been visited and reminded of the need to strictly adhere to safety standards and good hygiene practices in the mines” This is according to Mr. Sinya Mtawali, an industrial Hygienist in the Occupational Safety and Health Directorate within the Ministry of Labour.
Mr Mphatso Kapokosa from the Department of Mines adds that “The inspections have greatly helped in ensuring that Miners are provided with the necessary working equipment.” He went on to indicate that previously the Miners would work without the right equipment as evidenced by the results of their initial inspection visits at the beginning of the Project. However, with successive visits the companies have procured and provided safety gear to the miners.