• Relief at hand

    Relief at hand

    Half a million – that’s the number of backlogged health claims from mineworkers with lung diseases that South Africa plans to unblock with a ZAR1.5 billion fund.

    The goal is to compensate current and ex-mineworkers who have submitted valid claims but haven’t received payouts for health issues resulting from TB, silicosis and other illnesses. The Department of Health and Chamber of Mines, along with eight mining companies such as AngloGold Ashanti, African Rainbow Minerals, Gold Fields and Sibanye Gold, hope that Project Ku-Riha (meaning ‘compensation’ in Tsonga) will streamline these claims.

    Two one-stop diagnosis and service centres were unveiled in Carletonville and Mthatha. The money will come from a ZAR2.9 billion fund administered by the Medical Bureau for Occupational Diseases.

    Miners from neighbouring countries who worked in South Africa can also apply.

    9 June 2015
    Image: Gallo/GettyImages