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Miners body slams use of ‘corrupt’ TEBA

Booi Mohapi of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (left)


March 12, 2021 2 min read

2 min read


TSHIAMISO Trust - a body which has been established to carry out terms of settlement agreement reached between six mining companies and claimant attorneys in the historic silicosis and Tuberculosis (TB) class action has finally set up an office in Lesotho.

But, while the move is seen as progress towards ensuring that the claimants receive their compensations, representatives of ex miners in Lesotho are not entirely happy and have raised concerns about that decision.

Their argument is that TEBA, with its bad reputation of corruption will negatively impact processes towards the settlement of compensations for former miners who have been affected by the two diseases.

The silicosis and TB class action settlement and Trust Deed was signed by six mining companies including African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American SA, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony and Sibanye Stillwater together with attorneys representing mineworkers wanting to claim damages against those companies.

On July 26, 2019, the South Gauteng High Court approved the historic M5 billion settlement agreement with the six companies.

The Trust announced that as of January, prospective claimants were able to begin booking appointments at 50 lodgement offices in mining centres and areas from which labour has historically been drawn in South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini and Botswana.

From February 15, the offices were opened to accepting the lodgement of documents from the claimants.

“Most of the lodgement offices are located at TEBA offices with which the Trust has negotiated a partnership agreement,” Tshiamiso Trust said in a statement.

However, in an interview with Metro on Wednesday, Booi Mohapi of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace questioned the decision to open offices at TEBA.

“We see the move as challenging because TEBA has a bad reputation of corruption. It is a known fact that people are always cheated in situations where they had to engage TEBA. So it is really not a good move and we hope that at least they have their own employees who are not associated in anyway with TEBA despite using their offices,” Mr Mohapi said.


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He agreed, however that operations are already underway and people have started with the documentation processes towards receiving compensations.

For many years, mining companies and the South African government have failed to make mines safe from harmful conditions that cause Silicosis and Tuberculosis.

Today, 500 000 gold miners in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Malawi and Lesotho are dying from the two diseases.

To further facilitate the payment of benefits to eligible claimants, the Trust has negotiated a contract with Aurum Innova, South Africa mining’s leading occupational health agency in supplying of mobile medical clinics and some permanent ones to carry out benefit medical examinations (BMEs) on the claimants where this is a necessity to prove claims.

Tshiamiso has also negotiated a contract with Netcare for use of its facilities around the country.

 

 

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