Tebogo Msimanga |
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) applauded 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.
NUM National Health and Safety Secretary Masibulele Naki said 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”.
Naki added that 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.
“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.
Naki further said 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”.
NUM reiterated that it will work together with the department of health and all other progressive forces to ensure that all eligible beneficiaries are registered.