NUM applauds landmark silicosis settlement with mining giants

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Tuesday that it was “thrilled” that a landmark settlement had been reached between ex-mineworkers and Anglo American South Africa and AngloGold Ashanti.

On Friday Anglo American Plc’s South African unit and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd agreed to settle some lung-disease claims for more than R500-million, Leigh Day, a UK-based law firm for the claimants said.

NUM said the multimillion-rand settlement marked a defining moment in the ex-miners’ “long-running legal battle” against the two mining companies.

The ex-miners, who suffer from silicosis, a lung fibrosis caused by the inhalation of dust containing silica breathed in during mining, took action against the mining companies.

“The overall value of the settlement is estimated to be more than R500-million. A total of R464-million will be paid into the Qhubeka Trust for distribution while a further amount will be paid to assist the Trust to enable payment of ODMWA (Occupational Diseases of Mines and Works Act) compensation to claimants who qualify for it,” NUM said.

“The NUM is very excited about the long-anticipated settlement as our decision six years ago to attend Anglo American AGMs in London for six years consecutively has finally borne fruits for the sufferers of silicosis as we have been adamant with the industry that a negotiated settlement is the way to go.

“Now that Anglo American and Anglo-gold Ashanti have paved the way, we hope that other Gold producers will follow suit and heed our call for an industry settlement because it must be about those bearing the brunt of suffering and lost dignity rather than pride or denialism and own up to their responsibility of ensuring that they retrieve their dignity as black African Mineworkers,” NUM said.

The union added that Anglo American and AngloGold would also fund the costs of the Trust and the medical evaluations.

NUM said it would continue with its robust engagements to convince others to contribute to the Trust and to avoid enriching legal firms.

This, NUM said, would ensure that affected miners benefited from the funds, and the workplace within the mining sector was transformed into safe and healthy environments. – African News Agency (ANA)

Subscribe to the M&G for R2 a month

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

And for this weekend only, you can become a subscriber by paying just R2 a month for your first three months.

Related stories

SACP backs Jonas, asks others to speak out against state capture

The ANC's alliance partner has voiced its support for Mcebisi Jonas after he admitted he was offered the post of finance minister by the Guptas.

Subscribers only

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

Q&A Sessions: ‘I think I was born way before my...

The chief executive of the Estate Agency Affairs Board and the deputy chair of the SABC board, shares her take on retrenchments at the public broadcaster and reveals why she hates horror movies

More top stories

Between dark and light was Maradona

The life of Diego Armando Maradona, who died this week, will always remind us that the smell of shit is as important as the perfume of flowers, writes Niren Tolsi

Public protector’s ‘mistakes’ were made to nail the president, court...

Busisiwe Mkhwebane discarded facts that were inconvenient to her when she investigated the CR17 campaign, Cyril Ramaphosa’s lawyers argued

Student funding scheme gets new chief executive and board

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme has been under administration for two years after its board was dissolved and its boss resigned not even halfway through his term

General Council of the Bar slams Zuma Foundation

Another summons has been served on Jacob Zuma at his Nkandla residence, requiring the former president to appear before the Zondo Commission next year

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…