Letters to the editor: May 18 to 24

Silicosis settlement a muted success

In his article, “Suffering litigants rejoice over mining houses’ R5-billion silicosis settlement” , Lucas Ledwaba is correct to note that the settlement of the class action litigation has come too late for many.

As many as half of the mineworkers have died without receiving compensation for their suffering. This is because the mining companies have spent 14 years fighting various legal battles. Their behaviour has been nothing short of disgraceful.

In addition, it is too early to claim that this is a fair and effective settlement. If the settlement is not widely publicised then it will be of little value. Similarly, even if ex-gold mineworkers with silicosis and tuberculosis across Southern Africa do learn of the settlement, their ability to get medical screening and compensation will be crucial as to whether or not the settlement may be considered a success.

It is also vital that the settlement and the statutory compensation scheme work together in a complementary and mutually supportive manner.

Finally, the mining companies need to ensure that mining unions in South Africa and across the region are involved in the implementation of the settlement, and that there are regular and publicly available progress reports. — Sunit Bagree, senior campaigns officer, Action for Southern Africa (the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement), London


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. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Sassa disses disability grant applicants

Towards the end of level four of the lockdown, Sassa offices reopened for applications for old age pensions and childcare and foster care grants, but not for disability grants

Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku’s first rule: Don’t panic

As Gauteng braces for its Covid-19 peak, the province’s MEC for health, Bandile Masuku, is putting his training to the test as he leads efforts to tackle the impending public health crisis
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday