Leaders from the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy, the Minerals Council South Africa and organised labour met last week for a MineSafe Conference, called to urgently address the safety regression as the industry aims to achieve "zero harm".
DMRE chief inspector of mines David Msiza said the provisional number of reported fatalities and injuries for 2021 so far stood at 58 and 1,824, respectively.
This compares with 60 fatalities last year and 51 in 2019, South Africa's lowest number on record.
"Therefore the sector will benchmark on the successes of 2019 to transform health and safety performance through committed action," Msiza said.
The department said behavioural culture was a key element that needed to change for the sector to achieve zero harm.
The conference delivered a call to action to transform health and safety performance, saying an improvement would require continuous efforts.
"The call for action in transforming health and safety performance through committed action is to ensure every miner worker returns home unharmed every day," the DMRE said.
Msiza noted the sector had not had a mine disaster - an incident that claims five or more lives - in the past two years.
The main cause of fatalities has been fall of ground incidents.
The minerals council has said it's implementing a five-year action plan, designed to eliminate FoG fatalities, among other measures outlined recently to improve safety performance.