The Botswana Centre for Human Rights has announced that the TB/Silicosis class suit has finally come to an end, with a settlement reached between the miners' legal representatives and gold mining companies.
This historic settlement was announced and signed by the parties in Johannesburg, South Africa, on May 3, 2018. It was reached as a response to various factors including the escalation of legal costs, the lengthy court processes, the increasing number of claimants who are dying from silicosis and the consequential need to fast-track the compensation of remaining claimants.
Settlement notwithstanding, the agreement needs to be endorsed by the Gauteng High Court before it can be enforced. Arising from the agreement will be the establishment of the Trust which will be charged with the duty of facilitating disbursements of compensation in line with the South African compensation laws.
This effectively means ex-miners who have been paid under the South African Government payment scheme, will be eligible to receive additional compensation
DITSHWANELO has been working with ex-mineworkers on the Silicosis Class suit since 2012 with Richard Spoor Attorneys, a South African law firm. DITSHWANELO was responsible for the country registration of claimants including collection of evidentiary documentation for the suit. It was as a result of this project that BoLAMA – Botswana Labour Migrants Association was formed. BoLAMA is an ex-miners’ association advocating for the rights and interests of former mineworkers and their beneficiaries.