6 December 2017

South Africa: Ex-Mineworkers Benefit From Health Service Centre

Former miners will benefit from a centre which will provide integrated services for Tuberculosis (TB) and occupational lung disease assessments, as well as administrative services for compensation.

Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant officially opened the Kuruman One Stop Health Service centre in the Northern Cape on Tuesday.

The centre is a collaboration by various stakeholders led by government and supported by captains of the mining industry, organised labour and current and ex-mineworker associations with the aim to de-centralise services to claimants and beneficiaries.

The centre is also part of the Department of Health's ongoing service roll-out campaign to current and ex-mineworkers following the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi's national launch of the Ku-Riha project in Carletonville, Gauteng province in 2015.

"The service centres enable government to trace eligible previous and current mineworkers who have not claimed their compensation benefits over the last 30 years after they contracted occupational lung disease during the time they were employed at mines," the Department of Mineral Resources said.

Deputy Minister Oliphant said there was initially about R1.5 billion available for the compensation of 106 000 unpaid beneficiaries.

Since the launch of One Stop Health Service Centres, the number of unpaid beneficiaries increased by 8320.

Deputy Minister Oliphant encouraged ex-mineworkers to visit the service centres as well as the mobile centres in order to check the status of their claims and if they are eligible for compensation.

The Deputy Minister has reiterated that government, together with various stakeholders, will continue to work together to provide health care services to improve the living and working conditions of current and ex-mineworkers.

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