Desperate and ill mine workers want to be compensated while they are still alive
that his 25-year-old grandson, who also works in the mines, would be exploited, just as he was.
“All that I am praying for is that, before I die, these mines can pay us or our families for the years we suffered working underground. The treatment they gave us – that of basically saying, go home to die – is inhumane. I wish my grandson could be better off because the circumstances we worked under in those days were severe. I also wish for him to go back to school,” Holoza said.
He said a settlement would mean a lot for the family’s welfare as it would be used to send the young ones to school.
Unlike those who might still be lucky to see compensation in their lifetime, Vabaza Zide, buried in the corner of a garden in his home in Zinkumbini village, was not that lucky.
Zide died in 2013, leaving behind a widow, Nowelile (56), and six children.
Nowelile, speaking in front of her mud structure three-room flat and rondavel, said it was hard to keep the home fires burning without her loving husband.
Holding her late husband’s exit medical certificate, which showed that on January 27 2005 he was examined and found to be suffering from silicosis, Nowelile said she was finding it hard to cope.
She said compensation for her husband’s illness would help her to raise their children and take care of their needs, such as school uniforms and other necessities.
“I don’t have a job. Only one of the children gets a grant. I sometimes go to bed hungry and live on the mercy of my neighbours.
“I have not seen a cent of my husband’s money for all these years he worked in the mines. He died waiting for the money, but to no avail,” she said, fighting to hold back her tears.
Nyaniso Fuduswa and
HARD TO COPE Vabaza Zide’s widow, Nowelile. He died without being compensated