Help for mine work­ers

Vuk'uzenzele - - Health -

RE­LIEF IS ON the way for mine work­ers who con­tracted sil­i­co­sis and tu­ber­cu­lo­sis while work­ing for gold mines.

Atrust, which will dis­burse funds for mine work­ers who con­tracted sil­i­co­sis and tu­ber­cu­lo­sis, is to be es­tab­lished in April 2019 ac­cord­ing a state­ment is­sued by the In­ter-Min­is­te­rial Com­mit­tee (IMC) on the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of dis­tressed min­ing com­mu­ni­ties.

This fol­lows the his­toric class ac­tion set­tle­ment reached on 3 May be­tween min­ing com­pa­nies and claimants’ at­tor­neys. This ac­tion in­volved min­ing com­pa­nies African Rain­bow Min­er­als, An­glo Amer­i­can SA, An­gloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Har­mony and Sibanye-Stillwater.

Also in­volved are cur­rent and for­mer work­ers from the six min­ing com­pa­nies from 12 March 1965 to 3 May 2018, who were cer­ti­fied as hav­ing con­tracted sil­i­co­sis, as well as those who con­tracted cer­tain se­vere forms of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis.

The set­tle­ment needs to be ap­proved by the South Gaut­eng High Court, which could take sev­eral months.

Gov­ern­ment will im­ple­ment the re­quired sup­port to en­sure ex-minework­ers re­ceive their funds.

“The track­ing and trac­ing of ex-minework­ers, who are to be com­pen­sated for hav­ing con­tracted lung dis­eases while work­ing for gold mines, gives ef­fect to the suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of the outof-court sil­i­co­sis class ac­tion suit. The R5 bil­lion out-of­court sil­i­co­sis set­tle­ment will be pre­sented to the court for ac­cep­tance,” said the IMC in con­nec­tion with the set­tle­ment.

Four func­tion­ing One-Stop cen­tres pro­vide health ser­vices to min­ing com­mu­ni­ties and en­sure that re­tire­ment ben­e­fits are eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble to ex-minework­ers.

In June, a new web­site www. Sil­i­co­sisSet­tle­ment.co.za and a Face­book page www. face­book.com/sil­i­co­sisset­tle­ment were launched to as­sist for­mer minework­ers and their de­pen­dents who may be en­ti­tled to com­pen­sa­tion.

The IMC, which is chaired by Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency: Plan­ning, Mon­i­tor­ing and Eval­u­a­tion (DPME) Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, ex­pressed con­cern about un­claimed so­cial pro­tec­tion ben­e­fits for ex-minework­ers in the South­ern African re­gion.

To date, there is:

R45 bil­lion un­claimed for 4.2 mil­lion work­ers over­all (pen­sion/prov­i­dent funds), R4 bil­lion un­claimed by min­ers (pen­sion/prov­i­dent funds);

R1.2 bil­lion un­claimed com­pen­sa­tion funds for min­ers and R1.6 bil­lion un­claimed by for­mer civil ser­vants.

The IMC is man­dated to achieve in­te­grated and sus­tain­able hu­man set­tle­ments, im­prove the liv­ing and work­ing con­di­tions of minework­ers and health of min­ing com­mu­ni­ties, and ad­vance the so­cio-eco­nomic devel­op­ment of min­ing towns. SAnews.gov.za

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