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The National Union Of Mineworkers (NUM) welcomes the South Gauteng High Court ruling against 29 respondent gold mining companies allowing class action suits by thousands of workers suffering from silicosis and tuberculosis.
The judgement gives green light for a class action suit seeking damages from the gold mining sector on behalf of thousands of miners who contracted the fatal lung disease silicosis and tuberculosis while working underground.
"The NUM is very excited about the class action judgement as it has finally borne fruits for the sufferers of silicosis. We have been adamant with the industry that a negotiated settlement is the way to go and now the class action will open a flood of individual claims that could have massive consequences for the industry, says Peter Bailey NUM National Chairperson for Health and Safety.
The 29 defendants in the case include Harmony Gold, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Sibanye Gold , African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and Anglo American.
“We hope that the Gold producers will not appeal the verdict as they are directly responsible for the suffering and loss of dignity of this workers –they must own up to their responsibility by ensuring that they retrieve the dignity of black African Mineworkers," says Bailey.
The class action will fast-track much-needed legislative reforms in the mining industry to ensure compensation of workers who contract occupational diseases such as silicosis –a lung disease caused by high levels of silica dust exposure.
NUM will continue to participate in the process with robust engagements to convince the industry that a contribution to a Trust for sufferers of silicosis and Tuberculosis can avoid enriching legal firms rather than benefiting those workers carrying the scars from an unsafe and unhealthy workplace,” added Bailey.
For more information, please contact:
Peter Bailey: NUM Health and Safety Chairperson: 082 883 7302Ngoako Matsha, Media Officer at 083 809 3251
7 Rissik Street. Cnr Frederick, Johannesburg
Tel: 011 377 2111 Cell: 083 809 3251
Web: www.num.org.za Twitter: @Num_Media Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NUM