South Africa: First Payments to Claimants in Historic Silicosis Settlement Set for Second Quarter of 2020

analysis

The first payments to claimants from the historic silicosis settlement with South African gold producers will mark the start of a very long process.

Miners who contracted the fatal lung disease silicosis, while toiling in South Africa's gold mines, are soon to start receiving compensation. The Minerals Council South Africa announced at the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town that the first payments should be made in the second quarter of 2020. Beyond that, the process is expected to take years to complete.

The settlement in the class-action suit brought against the gold industry by human rights lawyer Richard Spoor was reached almost two years ago to the tune of R5-billion. The class action was initially launched in 2012 on behalf of miners who contracted the incurable disease from inhaling silica dust from gold-bearing rocks.

This, of course, is the legacy of decades of grotesque exploitation of the black migrant labour force drawn from the Eastern Cape, Lesotho, Mozambique and other "labour sending areas". This brutalised workforce was subjected to dangerous and unhealthy work with few safeguards against diseases such as silicosis, which may have killed more miners than rockfalls and other underground accidents.

The six companies that...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.