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So. Africa: 5 mining companies ask Court to accept 5 billion rand settlement in lawsuits re gold miners affected by silicosis & tuberculosis
Author: Ciaran Ryan, AllAfrica, Published on: 31 May 2019
"South Africa: Five Mining Groups Ask Court to Approve R5 Billion Silicosis Settlement Case", 30 May 2019
Lawyers for thousands of gold miners afflicted by silicosis or tuberculosis lined up on the side of five mining groups this week to ask the Gauteng High Court to approve a R5 billion settlement agreement.
The agreement provides for the payment of benefits worth R5 billion to mineworkers and the dependents of dead mineworkers who contracted silicosis or pulmonary tuberculosis during or after their employment from 1965. The benefits will be paid through the Tshiamiso Trust, which was set up specifically for this purpose
In 2016 the case was certified as a class action by the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court, and in December 2018 the court certified four classes of claimants: (1) those who contracted silicosis or were exposed to silica dust; (2) the dependents of deceased miners with silicosis; (3) those who contracted tuberculosis; and (4) the dependents of deceased miners who contracted tuberculosis while working at the mines.
Now the court is being asked to approve the R5 billion settlement agreement between legal representatives of the mineworkers and the five mining companies. The mining companies have secured guarantees for the R5 billion claim, though the eventual claim could be higher. Of this, R845 million has been set aside for administering the Tshiamiso Trust, which will accept claims for a period of 12 years, plus one additional year to wrap things up.