A project to trace former mineworkers has brought a smile to many former mine employees in the North West, who fell victim to occupational diseases and injuries while working at mines.
The project is targeting an estimated 170 000 former mineworkers and their beneficiaries.
The aim is to assist them in accessing unpaid benefits, including compensation for occupational lung diseases and injuries they suffered.
It’s an initiative that seeks to trace ex-mineworkers who suffered as a result of the risky work they performed at the mines. Many allegedly suffered from lung-related diseases and injuries but were silent.
This 69-year-old former mineworker worked at three different mines, where he got injured several times. He says his lungs have been damaged and was subsequently forced to use an inhaler.
He will now be examined along with other former mineworkers and will likely receive compensation, which could change his living conditions for the better.
Phillip Mdi is one of the ex-mineworkers. “I broke my hand, I lost my finger and also got injured on my knee and my other part of the body. I am so so happy, things would be better because right now it’s bad.”
Trust funds including, TEBA, Tshiamiso and Asbestos Trust say families of deceased former mineworkers will also be assisted.
Asbestos Trust’s Sister Phemelo Magabanyane says, “Asbestos trust is very important that the post-mortem be done. Post mortem being the removal of the heart and lungs for examination after death.”
Health authorities say the project will change the lives of many and this will provide some relief to government…
Madoda Sambatha: Health MEC – North West “Reality is that in the mining industry, most of them where they reside as we speak. They do not have money to survive or buy bread or take their kids to school they become a responsibility of the state.
Meanwhile, North West ex-mineworkers project secretary, Jeph Moreke, says the project will make it easier for the beneficiaries to access services quicker.
“They are far mostly in the province of Gauteng now we are bringing them nearer to the province of the North West so that people can access those facilities.”
The project will be rolled out to other districts to ensure that the process of tracing all beneficiaries to get what is due to them, is completed.