img
SarWatch Writer
Justice for Miners Campaign Press Release: 10 July 2020

The Justice for Miners Campaign is concerned about the slow rate at which the Tshiamiso Trust is executing its mandate to pay out sick miners.

The Trust was set up to pay the landmark R5-billion compensation to at least 500 000 sick miners who contracted TB and silicosis from working on gold mines.

Gold miners have been falling ill in Southern Africa with no assistance for over a century. It took 12 years to reach the 2018 out-of-court settlement between mining companies and claimants.

In its engagement with the Tshiamiso Trust, the Justice for Miners Campaign raised serious concerns about the Trust’s approach to identifying claimants in the Covid-19 context.

The Trust held its first meeting with members of the Justice for Miners Campaign chapters and organisations from labour-sending countries on 23 June 2020.
(Eds’ note: For a list of Justice for Miners campaign members who attended this meeting, please see the bottom of this release.)

Campaign members posed many questions during the meeting so that information could be fed back to claimants. Following that meeting, an ex-miner from Swaziland said: “It was an important meeting but many questions remain unanswered.”

Subsequently, Justice for Miners members wrote to the Trust raising unanswered questions and offering proposals for ensuring effective payment of compensation. The Justice for Miners Campaign is happy the pilot phase of compensation has been started, and we hope the Trust will be transparent and will work with the Justice for Miners Campaign.

We have written a letter to the Trust addressing, amongst others, the following issues.

1. Pilot phase
In a statement sent out on 30 June 2020, the Trust announced its pilot phase, saying it was instituted on 26 June 2020 and that “an initial set of claimants” would receive compensation “in the next few weeks”. We look forward to the Trust sharing the details about how and where the pilot phase will be rolled out.

2. Covid-19

The Trust says that due to Covid-19, “we are limited to considering claims only from individuals [or, if deceased, their dependents] for whom there are existing medical records”. This approach will severely delay the payment of compensation to claimants. Those who are not on the Trust’s database are required to to register as claimants, to upload documents to the website, and to “self check” on the progress of their claims.

This assumes that ex-miners can send text messages or access the telephone help lines. We do not believe that this is the case. Sick ex-miners require a lot of assistance to engage with the electronic portal to the Trust as proposed. We strongly believe that the Trust must come to the miners and not expect the miners to come to the Trust – least of all through online, data-based technology.

We propose that peripheral offices are opened region wide utilising the paralegals and organisations that were involved in the class action. These people are our members and well known to ex-miners. They have been the only point of contact for many ex-miners since the beginning of the class action process until now.

Such peripheral offices with access to scanners, internet and data would be the human interface required to make the proposed system work. These places can also double as check points for crucial medical examinations needed to apply for compensation.

 

Ex-miner Albino Tivane from Chibuto, Mozambique.

3. Qualifying for compensation

The Trust has said that lung function tests cannot be used due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Again, this will cause huge delays in claimants qualifying for compensation. The Campaign urges the Trust to urgently find alternative ways to determine the level of damage to the lungs.

The Campaign would like to engage the Trust on this issue to find a way forward.

Another major concern is that when a miner dies of Covid-19, their families will not be eligible for payouts as they have not been informed that they can send the lungs of their family members for autopsy – a critical point in deciding on compensation.

The Trust, as per its mandate, needs to inform family members of miners that should their loved one die, the lungs can be sent for autopsy to determine the level of silicosis or TB that is present. This determines the amount of compensation is due to the deceased’s family.

In the context of over a century of failed compensation for black miners, we believe the Trust has a duty to ensure transparency and accountability to mining communities and Southern
African societies.

The Justice for Miners Campaign is an initiative of Breathe Films and the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW).

JFM Campaign members who attended the Tshiamo Trust meeting:

Bishop Seoka, Chair Justice for Miners Campaign Civil Society Forum
Moises Uamusse, Justice for Miners Mozambique, Mozambican Miners Association (Amimo)
Booi Mohape, Justice for Miners Lesotho, Executive Secretary
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, Lesotho
Putseletso Salae, Justice for Miners Lesotho, CEO Miners Development Agency, Lesotho
Kitso Phiri, Justice for Miners Botswana, Bolama
Vama Jele, Justice for Miners eSwatini, Swaziland Migrant Mineworkers Association,Southern Africa Miners Association
Hendrick Mokoena, Justice for Miners, Welkom
Ziyanda Manjati, Justice for Miners, Eastern Cape
Dr Rhett Kahn, Justice for Miners Medical Advisor
Janet Kahn, Justice for Miners, Welkom
Catherine Meyburgh, Justice for Miners, Breathe Films
Richard Pakleppa, Justice for Miners, Breathe Films
Claude Kabemba, Justice for Miners campaign, Southern African Resource Watch

img
SARW Calls for an End to Child Labour

As we mark World Day Against Child Labour, which is commemorated annually on the 12th of June, the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) would like...

+ Read more
UBank’s Curatorship Should Not Affect Millions of Ex-miners Across SADC

The Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) is concerned that the recent decision by the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) Prudential Authority (PA) to place UBank...

+ Read more
Press Release: Widows and ex-mine workers appeal to the South African government to commit to the portability of social security benefits

The High-Level Meeting on Unclaimed Benefits from the mining sector took place in Johannesburg from 16-17 March 2022 to find solutions to the question of...

+ Read more
Press Release: Increasing Mining Activities in South Africa Must Not Happen at the Expense of Mining Communities’ Rights to Live in a Clean Environment

During the State of the Nation Address (SONA) last week, President Ramaphosa informed South African citizens of government’s intention to increase the mining of critical...

+ Read more
PRESS RELEASE: SARW and Bench Marks Foundation Stand with Lawyers and Activists in SLAPP Suit before the Constitutional Court of South Africa

SARW and the Bench Marks Foundation will be closely monitoring the Constitutional Court hearing on a landmark case on Strategic Litigation against Public Participation suits....

+ Read more
COP26 Should Call on Extractive Industries to be Proactive in Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Efforts Especially on the African Continent where their Activities are Dominant

PRESS RELEASE: The 26th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change () in Glasgow takes place at a time when...

+ Read more
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 2021: Extractive industries must swiftly adopt a human rights-based approach to their operations

  10 December 2021 The extractive industry is a key economic sector in the growth and development of many African countries, but has not been able to...

+ Read more
LA COP26 DEVRAIT APPELER LES INDUSTRIES EXTRACTIVES A PARTICIPER DE MANIERE PROACTIVE AUX EFFORTS D’ADAPTATION ET D’ATTENUATION DU CHANGEMENT CLIMATIQUE, EN PARTICULIER SUR LE CONTINENT AFRICAIN OU LEURS ACTIVITES SONT DOMINANTES

COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE : La 26ème Conférence des Parties à la Convention-cadre des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques (COP26) à Glasgow (en Ecosse) se...

+ Read more
SADC countries must position natural resources for the purposes of fighting poverty

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis are reversing decades of progress in the fight against...

+ Read more
The South African government needs to act swiftly to formalise the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining to curb illegal mining activities

The recent confrontation between law enforcement and people who were engaged in illegal mining activities in the North West, South Africa shows why the government...

+ Read more
Copper belt Civil Society Mining Forum Cautions Government on the Suspension of Artisanal and Small-scale Mining Activities on Disused Mining Dump sites

Press Statement 

Ndola -Zambia – We wish to congratulate the United Party for National Development (UPND) and its President His Excellence Hakainde Hichilema for...

+ Read more
PRESS RELEASE- CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS WORKING ON EXTRACTIVE RESOURCE GOVERNANCE ON THE COPPERBELT PROVINCE OF ZAMBIA LAUNCH “THE COPPERBELT CIVIL SOCIETY MINING FORUM”

Ndola-Zambia – In response to the visible negative impact of mining activities on Copperbelt communities, ten national and regional advocacy organisations have come together to...

+ Read more
PRESS RELEASE: SARW Opposes Attempts by First Quantum Minerals to Silence it through Court Action

The Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) has lodged a notice of intention to defend a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) brought against the organisation...

+ Read more
An Assessment of the Status of Artisanal Goldmining in Northwestern Province, Zambia

The Zambian government declared gold a strategic mineral. In recent years, more gold-rich areas have been discovered across the country, with the latest being Kasenseli...

+ Read more
Civil Society endorses Justice for Miners Campaign

Justice for Miners Campaign Press Release Issued by Justice for Miners Campaign and Southern African Resource Watch Hundreds of thousands of ex-miners who have been affected...

+ Read more
Press Release: The Status of Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining in Nathenje, Malawi

Recently Malawi experienced a gold rush in Makanjira area within the Unga and Nathenje River catchments in Mazengera and Chimutu Traditional Authorities.  Gold has been...

+ Read more
Press Release: SARW’s welcomes progress on Kansanshi Mining PLC collective bargaining agreement with trade unions

Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) has noted the progress made in the collective bargaining process between Kansanshi Mining Plc and trade unions representing 2,350 employees...

+ Read more
PRESS RELEASE: First Quantum Minerals Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility: Kansanshi Mine

15 December 2020

The Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) has published a second report on Kansanshi Mine in less than two years. The first...

+ Read more
Press Release: Human Rights 2020: Human rights should be central to the extractive industry’s COVID-19 recovery plans

10 December 2020

The year 2020 has seen many sectors being confronted with unprecedented challenges that forced businesses to reflect on their corporate strategies...

+ Read more
COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE DE SARW EN RAPPORT AVEC LA TENUE DE LA 4e EDITION D’ALTERNATIVE MINING INDABA

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE DRC AMI2020

(Version française)

Southern Africa Resource Watch, SARW en sigle, a organisé du 18 au 19 Novembre 2020...

+ Read more
PRESS RELEASE IN RELATION TO THE HOLDING OF THE 4th ALTERNATIVE MINING INDABA EDITION

PRESS RELEASE AMI DRC2020

Southern Africa Resource Watch in partnership with Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)...

+ Read more
Press Release: Artisanal Miners Robbed in Broad Daylight: Zimbabwe gold monopoly as a conduit to canalise forex and cannibalise bodies

Over the past 20 years, the Zimbabwe economy has been on a declining trajectory. Long before the current political and economic woes, gold and tobacco...

+ Read more
COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE : Alternative Mining Indaba 2020 de la République Démocratique du Congo se tient à Lubumbashi, Province du Haut-Katanga du 18-19 Novembre 2020

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE : Alternative Mining Indaba 2020 de la République Démocratique du Congo se tient à Lubumbashi, Province du Haut-Katanga du

+ Read more
PRESS RELEASE: Alternative Mining Indaba for The Democratic Republic of Congo 2020 Kicks Off in Lubumbashi, Haut-Katanga Province

PRESS RELEASE: Alternative Mining Indaba for The Democratic Republic of Congo 2020 Kicks Off in Lubumbashi, Haut-Katanga Province.

18-19 November 2020

The Southern...

+ Read more
SARW CONDAMNE LE MEURTRE DE DEUX ENFANTS PAR LES MILITAIRES DANS LA CONCESSION DE LA SOCIETE COMMUS A KOLWEZI

Southern Africa Resource Watch, SARW en sigle, déplore l’affrontement entre les forces de l’ordre et les creuseurs artisanaux dans la concession de la société minière...

+ Read more
Justice for the brutal killing of Fikile Ntshangase.

The Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) is deeply saddened and angered by the killing of environmental activist Fikile Ntshangase, affectionately known as Mam’Ntshangase. Fikile Ntshangase...

+ Read more
Call for Consultants to undertake assessment studies on development financing by business to promote human rights and community participation with focus on the mining sector.

Country assessment study on development financing by business to promote human rights and community participation using selected case studies of mining companies in South Africa,...

+ Read more
First Quantum Minerals’ Hypocrisy Exposed

The Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) is pleased that First Quantum Minerals (FQM) Kansanshi mine has finally appointed a Zambian as the mine’s General Manager....

+ Read more
SARW’S SUPPORT TO THE BAYEKE KINGDOM IN THE CONSULTATION OF LOCAL COMMUNITIES FOR THE SIGNING OF A SHARED LIST OF RESPONSIBILITIESWITH TENKE FUNGURUME MINING

SARW is engaged in a process of capacity building for Decentralised Territorial Entities (DTEs) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As part of this...

+ Read more