LIFE­TIME’

Des­per­ate and ill mine work­ers want to be com­pen­sated while they are still alive

CityPress - - Business -

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

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