A website and Facebook page have been launched to assist mineworkers and their families in registering their claims for silicosis and tuberculosis (TB) settlements.
According to a statement issued by the companies, those entitled to compensation can use the website — www.SilicosisSettlement.co.za — and Facebook page to register their details on the mineworker database. The website and page will also be updated regularly with information.
Following three years of negotiations between companies and claimants’ attorneys, in May this year, the settlement agreement was reached for miners who had contracted silicosis while working underground.
Silicosis is a debilitating pulmonary disease which is caused by inhaling excessive amounts of silica dust found underground, causing damage to the lungs and ultimate death.
The companies African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American SA, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony and Sibanye-Stillwater and attorneys which represented the claimants were Richard Spoor Incorporated, Abrahams Kiewitz Incorporated and the Legal Resources Centre agreed to the settlement of about R5-billion.
The settlement is subject to certain suspensive conditions, including approval by the Johannesburg high court, which could take several months. The agreement provides compensation to all eligible workers suffering from silicosis and/or tuberculosis who worked in these companies’ mines from March 12 1965 to date.
“If and when the settlement has been approved‚ a trust will be set up and the process of compensating ex-mine workers will begin,” the statement reads.
Potential claimants and their dependents are encouraged to also contact the call centre on 080 1000 240 to register their claims under the Medical Bureau for Occupational Disease.
There is no limit on the number of potential claimants. Any claimant who has a qualifying claim will receive the compensation due to him or her during the lifetime of the Trust. Individuals will be entitled to opt out if they do not wish to participate in the settlement. — Fin24