3 May 2018 – The Legal Resources Centre – working together with Abrahams Kiewitz and Richard Spoor Attorneys – has reached the first class action settlement of its kind in South Africa, representing thousands of mineworkers, who have contracted silicosis or tuberculosis since 1965.
The settlement was reached following three years of extensive negotiations with the Occupational Lung Disease (OLD) Working Group, representing African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American SA, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony, Sibanye Stillwater, and Pan African Resources. The agreement must be approved by the Johannesburg High Court.
The settlement provides mine workers with an opportunity to receive a medical examination. Compensation will be administered by the Tshiamiso Trust, which will be established following court approval. A call center will also be established to record claims and provide information. All information regarding the Trust and call center will be made available to the public.
The LRC brought the first test case on silicosis in South Africa in 2003 to test the liability of Anglo American SA as a parent company. Silicosis is an occupational lung disease caused by the inhalation of respirable dust containing crystalline silica. The disease is progressive, incurable, and potentially fatal. Individuals with silicosis are at increased risk of tuberculosis and lung cancer.