Media Statement, 25 January 2023
NUM welcomes health department’s decision to compensate former mineworkers suffering from TB or silicosis
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) applauds the decision taken by the Department of Health to roll out a massive screening, verification, medical examination and payment benefits programme for eligible former mineworkers who contracted tuberculosis and or silicosis while working in certain mines between March 1965 and December 2019.
This is long-overdue. The economy of this country and of many of our former colonisers was built through the blood and sweat of these former mineworkers.
The filthy rich capitalists’ shareholders of various mining houses whom majority of them are citizens of the former colonial masters continue to enjoy the benefits whilst the current and the former mineworkers are sick at home and some have died as paupers.
Unfortunately, whilst the process to compensate the workers is now unfolding, there is mushrooming of the so-called “Trust Funds” masquerading as the vanguard of the rights of the mineworkers.
Those “Trusts Funds” have no interests of mineworkers at heart but to benefit their trustees and their executives.
The NUM will reject any “Trust Funds” that claims to be for the mineworkers. We are also calling on the Department of Health to be vigilant and reject those Trusts.
“We frown upon the untransformed and arrogant Tshiamiso Trust Fund which is led by Lilly white board members and does not allow participation of labour unions in their Board”, said Masibulele Naki, NUM National Health and Safety Secretary
Tshiamiso Trust is involved in the compensation of mineworkers and the NUM will mobilise its forces, including other progressive trade unions within the mining sector to demand that Tshiamiso Trust be transformed and should include labour unions in its Board of Trustees.
“Every cent of the over R10 billion allocated for the compensation of the eligible former mineworkers must be for those mineworkers and or their beneficiaries, not the other round”, said Naki.
The NUM will work together with the department of health and all other progressive forces to ensure that all eligible beneficiaries are registered. Nothing about us without us.
For more detailed information, please contact:
Masibulele Naki, NUM National Health and Safety Secretary, 073 333 7745
The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Cnr Frederick Johannesburg
Tel: 011 377 2111 Cell: 083 809 3257
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