South African gold mines have issued a notice calling on gold mineworkers, former mineworkers, or their dependants to consider their eligibility to claim for compensation for exposure to dangerous dust during the mineworker’s employment.
The call follows a high court judgement in the Bongani Nkala and 67 others class-action suit which approved a settlement.
The notice issued today says “eligible claimants will be entitled to receive a once-off payment of between R10 000 and R250 000 depending on the nature and seriousness of the disease.”
Many former mineworkers in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and other countries in the region may be eligible for the compensation. South African gold mines pulled migrant workers in Africa looking for better-paying jobs life as their home countries offered few opportunities for African men.
Said the notice published in newspapers in Zimbabwe today:
OPT OUT NOTICE
You may be eligible to claim compensation if you’re currently or have been a GOLD MINEWORKER in South Africa, at any time after 12 March 1965, and have been exposed to silica dust or you have contracted silicosis or tuberculosis (“TB”) OR you are A DEPENDANT (for example, the wife, child or life partner) of such a gold mineworker who has since passed away, PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY AS IT MAY AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS.
On 3 May 2018, six mining companies _ African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American SA, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony and Sibanye -Stillwater and some of their affiliates (“the participating gold mining companies”) reached a Conditional settlement to pay compensation to eligible gold mineworkers and the dependants of such mineworkers who have passed away. The proposed settlement will settle the claims against the participating gold mining companies arising from the class action that was initiated before the High Court for:
- the harm and loss suffered by mineworkers who contracted silicosis and/or TB during their work on certain gold mines in South Africa, and
- the harm and loss suffered by the dependants of mineworkers who died of these diseases.
The settlement was approved by the High Court in Johannesburg on 26 July 2019.
WHO IS INCLUDED IN THE SETTLEMENT?
You are a class member, and will be included in the settlement, if you meet all the requirements of any of the four classes:
- who as at the date when the settlement agreement comes into force, have undertaken risk work. In terms of the settlement agreement, risk work means “risk work” as defined in the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act, 1973 or any of the following work.
(i) work in the underground workings of a gold mine;
(ii) work in a laundry where clothing of underground mineworkers is washed;
(iii) work on a slimes dam of a gold mine;
(iv) work in an assay laboratory of a gold mine where the composition of gold bearing ore is analysed, and where the mass of respirable dust from personal sampling is determined;
(v) work in a metallurgical plant of a gold mine, including crushing, milling, transporting and smelting of ore; and
(vi) work at conveyor belt operations which are undertaken to convey broken rock from the underground operations of a gold mine to surface;
- who on or before the date when the settlement agreement comes into force, have contracted silicosis or have been exposed to silica dust;
- who undertake or have undertaken risk work on one or more of the mines listed in Annexure A of this notice after 12 March 1965; and
- who did not settle their claims in previously finalised settlements with Anglo American South Africa Limited and AngloGold Ashanti Limited on 14 March 2016 and Anglo American South Africa Limited on 19 September 2013, respectively.
The dependants of any of the persons in Class 1 above who are deceased as at the date when the settlement agreement comes into force.
- who as at the date when the settlement agreement comes into force have undertaken risk work;
- who on, before or after the date when the settlement agreement will come into force have contracted Tuberculosis; and
- who undertake or have undertaken risk work, after 12 March 1965, on one or more of the gold mines listed in Annexure A of this notice.
The dependants of any of the persons in Class 3 above who are deceased as at the date when the settlement agreement comes into force.
WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF THE SETTLEMENT?
The settlement is not yet in force because some of its conditions have not yet been met. If the conditions are met, the participating gold mining companies will establish a fund, called the TSHIAMISO TRUST.
If the settlement agreement comes into force:
- The participating gold mining companies will pay agreed contributions to the Tshiamiso Trust and the process of paying compensation can start.
- All class members can submit a claim to the Tshiamiso Trust for monetary compensation, except for those class members who opt out of the settlement.
- Details of how to submit a claim to the Tshiamiso Trust will be published in the media and on the website www.silicosissettlement.co.za
- The Tshiamiso Trust will pay compensation to eligible claimants. An eligible claimant is a person who is a member of any of the classes and who meets the requirements of the Tshiamiso Trust to receive monetary compensation.
- Class members must submit a completed claim form to the Tshiamiso Trust and may have to undergo a medical examination to determine if they are eilgible claimants.
Once the settlement agreement is in force, eligible claimants will be entitled to receive
a once-off payment of between R10 000 and R250 000, depending on the nature and
seriousness of the disease. In certain exceptional circumstances, this amount may be
increased to up to R500 000.
The full terms of the final settlement as well as the Court’s decision approving the
settlement are available at www.silicosissettlement.co.za or can be obtained from the
Class Lawyers (contact details below).
YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY ANYONE TO ASSIST YOU TO MAKE YOUR CLAIM
WHAT MUST I DO TO REMAIN PART OF THE SETTLEMENT?
IF YOU ARE A CLASS MEMBER AND YOU WISH TO BE PART OF THE SETTLEMENT, NO
ACTION IS NECESSARY AT THIS TIME.
While you do not have to do anything to participate in the settlement, if you wish to
send your contact details expressing your interest in participating, you may do so by
completing an information form or registering your interest at this website
OPTING OUT OF THE SETTLEMENT
IF YOU ARE A CLASS MEMBER, THE SETTLEMENT IS AUTOMATICALLY BINDING
ON YOU UNLESS YOU TAKE STEPS TO OPT OUT. If you do not want to be part of the
settlement, or you want the right to pursue your claim individually in court, then you must
take steps to opt out of the settlement.
To opt out of the settlement, you must COMPLETE AND SIGN EITHER FORM A; FORM
B; FORM C OR FORM D (WHICHEVER APPLIES TO YOU) AND DELIVER IT, TOGETHER
WITH THE REQUIRED SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS (MARKED FOR THE ATTENTION OF
“SILICOSIS SETTLEMENT”), TO THE INDEPENDENT AUDITOR SNG Grant Thornton
before 24 November 2019.
The form must be signed before a commissioner of oaths. Every police station in
South Africa has a commissioner of oaths.
TO OPT OUT, DELIVER YOUR OPT-OUT FORM AND THE SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
BY HAND OR BY FAX OR BY EMAIL USING THE FOLLOWING DETAILS: SNG Grant
Address for hand delivery: 20 Morris Street East, Woodmead, Johannesburg 2191
Fax number: +27 11 234 0933
Address for delivery by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You cannot opt out by phone but you can call the numbers below for more information
on opting out.
Each class member seeking to opt out must fill out and sign a separate opt out form.
If you deliver an opt-out form, the Independent Auditor may contact you for further
THE OPT-OUT FORMS ARE AVAILABLE AT www.silicosissettlement.co.za OR THEY
CAN BE OBTAINED FROM THE CLASS LAWYERS OR THE CLASS LAWYERS WILL
DIRECT YOU TO THE NEAREST PLACE WHERE YOU CAN FIND THE OPT-OUT FORMS
(CONTACT DETAILS BELOW).
* PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU COMPLETE THE CORRECT OPT-OUT FORM. IF YOU
NEED ASSISTANCE IN THIS REGARD, USE THE INFORMATION SERVICES BELOW.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE CLAIMS PROCESS, THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND OPTING OUT:
- Visit www.silicosissettlement.co.za;
- Call the toll-free Call Centre at 0801 000 240 or 0800 110 110. The Call Centre will
operate at no cost to persons calling from within South Africa;
- Send a “please call me” to the following number 072 557 8077 or 079 835 7179.
You may also contact the Class Lawyers at:
Tel. +27 (0)11 482 6081;
Fax. +27 (0)11 482 1419
P.O. Box 303 Parklands,
5 Sherborne Road
Tel. +27 (0)21 914 4842
Fax. +27 (0)21 914 1455
P.O. Box 3048, Tygervalley,
7536, Cape Town
Penthouse, 6th Floor,
Carl Cronje Drive,
Tygervalley, Cape Town
Tel.: +27 (0)11 836 9831
Fax.: +27 (0)11 834 4273
P.O. Box 9495,
Bram Fischer Towers,
20 Albert Street,
Deelkraal (also called
Holdings other 4 shafts
Kudu, Nyala, Sable,
Eland which were former
Freddies and Free State
(Masimong) (FreeGold 3)
Free State Geduld
Free State Cons
FreeGold 2 and 4
Freddies 7 and 9 (to
Kades Barnea cc,
Pamodzi, Target mine)
Freegold 2, 4
Steyn 1,2 (to Kades
Steyn 3,4 (FreeGold 1,
Brand 1, 2, 3, 5
(Steyn 5 to 8)
HJ Joel / Joel
Western Reefs (merged
with Vaal Reefs)
Vaal Reefs (1,3,4,5,6,7)
Vaal Reefs 2
Vaal Reefs 8 (Great
Vaal Reefs 9 (Kopanang)
Vaal Reefs 10 (Tau
Vaal Reefs 11
Western Deep Levels
(South Mine WDL 1)
(East Mine WDL 3)
(West Mine WDL 2)
Evander (incl Kinross,
Leslie, Bracken and
Cooke 1, 2 and 3
Cooke 4 (Ezulwini)
(Shafts 1,2 and 3)
Village Main Reef
(to South Deep)
Beatrix (including Oryx)
Oryx (to Beatrix)
West Driefontein and
Leeudoorn from 1 Jan
1993, Libanon and
St Helena (Beisa section)