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Tshiamiso Trust Raises R5 Billion To Compensate Ex-Wenela Workers

8 months agoSun, 04 Jun 2023 08:17:46 GMT
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Tshiamiso Trust Raises R5 Billion To Compensate Ex-Wenela Workers

Tshiamiso Trust has set aside a provisional compensation pool of R5 billion for ex-Wenela workers, including at least 1,000 Zimbabweans, who contracted silicosis and tuberculosis from South African gold mines. The workers will receive payments ranging from R10,000 to R500,000 per person.

The trust is responsible for handling the compensation process and is currently involved in discussions to ensure full operationalisation of the payment process. The compensation is applicable to employees who carried out risky work at qualifying mines and were diagnosed with silicosis before December 2021, or those who contracted tuberculosis while working at the mines or within a year of leaving the mines. Claimants would need to lodge a claim with the trust at one of its lodgement offices. Each claim will be assessed individually, and the amount a claimant receives depends on the class that he/she is certified for, the period worked at a qualifying mine, the risk level of the work, and the severity of the lung impairment due to silicosis or work-related TB. The trust is considering workers who were employed by various mining companies, including Anglo-American South Africa and Sibanye-Stillwater.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Tshiamiso Trust executive for stakeholder relations and communications Ms Lusanda Jiya said:

The settling parties agreed to an amount of R5 billion. This amount is uncapped; the settling parties agreed to pay beyond the R5 billion if the trust finds more eligible claimants.

 Our database shows that there are over 1 000 potential claimants in Zimbabwe.

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We see that there is a possibility of getting more than 1 000 potential claimants, and we are projecting that we might get any figure between 1 500 and 2 000.

This means the total amount that will be disbursed to Zimbabwe cannot be specified until we get the exact number of those who passed our vetting process.

Once the operational framework is in place, the funds will be disbursed accordingly.

Tshiamiso Trust is waiting for government approval to compensate ex-Wenela workers, including those from Zimbabwe, who contracted silicosis and tuberculosis while working in South African gold mines. The trust is considering workers who were employed by African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American South Africa, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold and Sibanye-Stillwater. As of March, Tshiamiso Trust had paid over R1 billion for more than 11,000 claims from ex-workers from other countries.

The compensation was long overdue, according to Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Permanent Secretary Mr Simon Masanga.

During the gold rush era, thousands of Zimbabweans went to South Africa and contracted respiratory diseases due to poor ventilation in the mines.

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