Mining deaths in South Africa have reached crisis proportions, the chairpersons of Parliament’s mineral resources committees said on Monday following the latest incident which saw six miners killed at the Phalaborwa Mining Company in Limpopo.

“The issue of mine health and safety has long reached crisis proportions and requires desperate intervention. The Department of Mineral Resources must urgently draft legislation that will hold mine bosses and managers accountable for any life lost on duty,” said Sahlulele Luzipo,’ chairman of Parliament’s portfolio committee in a joint statement with select committee chairman Olifile Sefako.

Luzipo said it was “highly abnormal” that 18 people have been killed in three mining accidents in three months.

He said the committees had written to Mining Minister Gwede Mantashe to request a status update on the Mine and Safety Amendment Bill, adding it was now an “urgent piece of legislation”.

The committee has also called for written submissions from organised labour on how to improve mine health and safety standards.