Silicosis Payouts Are ‘Symbolic Justice’ for Miners

The Tshiamiso Trust has begun paying out workers who contracted silicosis and TB in South Africa’s gold mines, but the amounts are paltry against what they have lost to poor health over the years.

Silicosis Payouts Are ‘Symbolic Justice’ for Miners

After a long wait for compensation, close to 20 years for some, former miners who contracted silicosis and tuberculosis (TB) in South Africa’s gold mines are being compensated for the damage that working underground did to their health.

But a 68-year-old man who worked at a Sibanye gold mine from 1982 to 2010 – his lawyers at Richard Spoor Inc Attorneys requested that he remain anonymous – says he is not happy with what the Tshiamiso Trust has paid him. The trust was established to ensure claimants in the class-action suit against the gold mining companies are compensated. 

“I left the mine in 2010 after I was no longer fit to work since the accident that happened underground and I sustained injuries,” he says, adding that he had already contracted silicosis at this point.

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