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Windfall for ex-Wenela workers

By Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu

Mine workers who were exposed to harmful substances and ended up contracting Silicosis or Tuberculosis at South African gold mines are set to receive compensation ranging from R10 000 to R500 000.

Wenela miners Miners aboard a DC-4 in Francistown in 1952
Wenela miners Miners aboard a DC-4 in Francistown in 1952

This development comes after the High Court in Johannesburg approved the settlement in the Silicosis and Tuberculosis class action reached on 26 July 2019 and came into effect on 10 December 2019 after all conditions had been fulfilled.

Dependants of mineworkers who have since passed away, a wife, children or life partner, will receive the payments.

In a statement yesterday, the Tshiamo Trust which was established to carry out the terms of the settlement said all eligible miners should come forward with their details.

Eligible claimants who were gold mineworkers between March 12, 1965 and December 10, 2019 will be compensated.

“The Tshiamiso Trust has been established to carry out the terms of the settlement and to pay monetary compensation to eligible claimants. An eligible claimant will be entitled to receive a once-off payment of between R10 000 and R250 000, depending on the nature and seriousness of the disease and harm suffered by such claimant,” read the statement.

“In some severe cases, an eligible claimant may be able to receive a larger amount of up to R500 000.”

An eligible claimant according to Tshimiso Trust is a person who is a member of companies who meets the requirements of the trust to receive monetary compensation.

“All class members can and are invited to submit a claim to the Tshiamiso Trust for monetary compensation, except for class members who opted out of the settlement. Details of how to submit a claim are provided on the trust’s website.

The full terms of the Settlement Agreement as well as the Court’s decision approving the Settlement Agreement is available on the same website,” read the same statement.

It said the eligible are persons who undertook work that exposed them to silica dust and contracted Silicosis or Tuberculosis.

“Dependants for example the wife, child or life partner of such a gold mine worker who passed away may also apply for compensation.

Claimants who live in South Africa can call the Trust’s toll-free call centre number to make an appointment at their closest lodgement office in South Africa. Those who live outside of South Africa can call the Trust’s call back number to make an appointment at a lodgement office in their country,” it said. The Chronicle

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