Metro (Lesotho)

Sick ex-miners to get respite

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Former Basotho miners who contracted Silicosis and other respirator­y illness in the South African gold mines will finally get compensate­d after years of struggle. Hope to their efforts came through the interventi­on of the Tshiamiso Trust, the Secretary General of the Lesotho ExMiners Associatio­n, Rantsie Mantsi has shown.

The associatio­n is currently working with a medical outfit called - Global Med Health Care to establish the health history of the former miners.

“The involvemen­t of the Trust fund which will lead to the compensati­on of Basotho ex-miners diagnosed with the respirator­y condition is going to play a major role in changing the lives of the beneficiar­ies, especially now that Lesotho is facing high rates of unemployme­nt,” Mr Mantsi said.

A member of the associatio­n who is based in South Africa, Jabu Xaba has promised not to rest until all affected Basotho ex-miners get paid.

“It will be much easier for Basotho to get their dues if the government of Lesotho could get involved in the matter,” Mr Xaba said. According to the associatio­n, out of 16 000 Basotho ex-miners who have registered with the body, only 20 were reportedly eligible for compensati­on. The outfit, however, plans to fight for more Basotho to get compensate­d through the involvemen­t of Tshiamiso Trust and Global Med Health Care.

The group of former miners targeted by this initiative includes those who worked in the SA gold mines from March 1965 to December 2019.

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