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So. Africa: At least 5 million miners have suffered and died from tuberculosis and silicosis across Southern Africa over 130 years

‘Five million die through mining in southern Africa’ 26 November 2019

The real cost of mining in South Africa has seen at least five (5) million miners suffering and dying from Tuberculosis and Silicosis across Southern Africa over 130 years. Mining companies admit that in the past they have failed to take the necessary precautions to protect their employees from Silica dust arising from extracting gold. Due to this unacceptable neglect and systematic violence, we are confronted with untold pain, suffering, physical harm and deaths of millions of people who have worked in the mines.

With limited access to their employment benefits, the gold mining industry has completely shifted the burden of care to the wives and families of the dying ex-miners. On the 18th of November, Civil Society organizations from the SADC region gathered at Nelson Mandela Foundation for the inaugural Civil Society Forum meeting of the Justice For Miners campaign (JFM) under the auspices of the Southern Africa Resource Watch, a watchdog institution that promotes research, advocacy and capacity development in the extractive Industries to tackle injustice and poverty.

…The JMF also calls on miners, their families and concerned citizens across Southern Africa to join the call for #JusticeForMiners campaign, which aims to provide support and to stand in solidarity with miners and to exert civic influence on policy and decision making in government. Noting that currently, 6 000 closed mines pose a serious environmental and health risk to communities, the forum calls on all mining companies to be held accountable and to urgently rehabilitate the environment around these mines. Further, noting that current day miners continue to be exposed to harmful levels of silica dust the forum calls on the state and industry to urgently make mines safe so that miners do not contract occupational lung diseases.