Can South African Government Hold It’s Mining Houses To Account & Pay

By Pinky Khoabane


Miner’s lung with silicosis & tuberculosis

WITH the vast shares held by some members of the ANC ruling party in mining houses, will the advice by Parliament’s Mineral Resources Committee for the Department of Mineral Resources to get involved in the silicosis class action case really materialise?

Thirty-thousand (30,000) former miners are suing 82 mines for compensation for failing to protect them against lung diseases, according to a statement released by the Committee yesterday, following a briefing by lawyers representing ex-mine workers suffering from lung diseases and silicosis. There’s another suit against the companies for their failure to protect the workers from conditions that led them to contracting tuberculosis (TB). Silicosis is a lung disease caused by inhaling fine dust.

The violation of health and safety standards in South African mines has been described as ‘the world’s biggest, longest running industrial disaster; dwarfing Chernobyl’.

The lawsuit includes current and former miners who contracted the disease since 1965 and dependants of the ones who lost their lives. Those of us who lived in neighbouring countries like Lesotho know of the thousands of miners who’ve returned home with nothing else but TB and left to die as a result of the poor health infrastructure in those countries. Their families, often dependent solely on the mineworker, are left completely destitute and live in abject poverty.

GroundUp has written extensively on the case https://www.groundup.org.za/silicosis-court-case/. There have been ongoing talks of an out-of-court settlement between the miners’ lawyers and some mining companies but a conclusion is still to materialise. The companies involved include Anglo American plc, AngloGold Ashanti; Gold Fields; Harmony; and Sibanye Gold. In today’s reports, lawyers for the miners have confirmed that six of the firms being sued are holding settlement talks with the workers.

The Chairperson of the Minerals & Resources Committee, Sahlulele Luzipo, said although he understood the seriousness of the case, he underestimated its complexity. “It is concerning that political guidance is missing and this case has been dragging on for four years now. The reality is that people will eventually complain to Parliament when things go wrong,” Luzipo said. In addition, the Committee said it had invited the Department to present it’s role in the case thus far.

The real question is how  and whether this Department can hold mining houses to account and push them towards a settlement. As we know, businesses that benefited from apartheid and most were culpable by virtue of operating in a racially structured economy, have hardly been held to account let alone pay towards restitution. The much touted wealth tax proposed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) never materialised but as we showed here two days ago, many of these companies have become the biggest beneficiaries of the democratic dispensation with many of them having on their boards and shareholding some very powerful and politically connected individuals. http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/companies-propped-apartheid-complicity-anc-revolutionaries-apartheid-amnesia/


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  1. This goes to the heart of the Economic concessions that the ANC did with the Apartheid Government.

    If there is anyone out there who understand this issue of Project Spiderweb properly, can you kindly write an article about it.

    Before we can successfully debunk the oppressive Systems in this Country we need to understand couple things about what has been agreed about this Economic Apartheid.

    1) We need to know if Project Spiderweb Did/Do exist.

    2) We need to know if it’s True that the ANC agreed to it’s existence.

    3) We need to know what was discussed at those meetings at Stellenbosch. We need Agenda items.

    4) Did the ANC agree to send Delegates to these meetings that we hear were agreed to be held at Stellenbosch?

    5) Who did the ANC send as Representatives? THIS IS VERY KEY.

    6) What mandate were they given?

    7) What resolutions were Taken?

    8) Who was responsible for implementation? I assume Government must have been.

    And many other questions.

    The ANC is implicated in the Claims of an existence of Project Spiderweb and the organization has a duty to explain their position in this matter.

    There are things we inherited from Apartheid that have a background to them however by the looks of things Project Spiderweb was something far demonic and something that started right during Democracy.

    This looks more like the driving force behind South Africa’s Economic Apartheid.

    The ANC needs to clarify where they stood in this issue.

    We hear many people making public pronouncements on the Economy that has all the Hallmarks of people Captured by WMC.

    We need to know if at all these are the same people who have been attending these meetings who have been Brainwashed into seeing things the WMC way.

    Until this issue is cracked open, all we will spend time doing is scratching the surface.

    This is because if Spiderweb indeed existed, IT MEANS THE ANC WAS NEVER IN CHARGE OF THE COUNTRY.

    If the ANC was never in charge of TREASURY and SPIDERWEB WAS then the ANC was never in charge.


    If a man comes into your house and tells you that you can be responsible for everything in your house as long as you leave the money Control to him, YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL.

    You are not in control UNTIL YOU CONTROL THE FINANCES.

  2. We have to start with the Compensation Regime that is in place.

    Going through the list of injuries and Occupational sicknesses and the prescriptions it imposes on penalties you will see that this was designed to insult Black lives.

  3. I once worked at Ubank,former teba bank in Welkom Free State.the issue of silicosis killing mine workers is real. I experienced it on a daily basis by virtue of working with miners directly.we saw them dying some of them don’t even get to enjoy their retirement monies.if you could see the paltry amounts of money they are paid after working for 25 years or 30 in the mines you would be shocked.its high time that justice be served.

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