Time to pay the piper
Mines and national departments are in talks to reform compensation policies, paving the way for payouts
Peter Bailey, the union’s national health and safety chairperson, said: “We’ve been advocating for changes to compensation policies since 1998. Finally, government listened and is eager to get finality on this matter.”
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) welcomed the reform, but wanted the discussions to be held at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).
Gabriel Nkosi, Amcu’s national coordinator for health and safety, said: “The integration of these laws is what we are looking for, and we are happy we’re on that road. But we also call for these discussions to take place within Nedlac to afford all interested and affected parties the opportunity to have their say. This has been a long time coming because these acts are not in favour of mine workers.”
The Chamber of Mines wants all current and future mine workers covered under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act compensation system, which provides improved compensation.
Charmane Russell, a spokesperson for the Chamber of Mines, said: “Delays to the merger of two acts were due to a number of complexities, not least of them the fact that the two systems are administered by different departments and have varying conditions. We are pleased that we all think we need to move forward rapidly on this.”