The landmark silicosis settlement reached in 2018 has not brought financial relief for many of its intended beneficiaries, Rapport reports. After 12 years of litigation, mining houses agreed in 2018 to set up the Tshiamiso Trust to compensate miners with amounts ranging from R70,000 to R500,000 based on the severity of their health condition.
However, some miners claim they registered with the trust in 2018, but have had no success in claiming. Professor May Hermanus, chair of the Tsiamiso Trust, conceded there were delays, saying potential beneficiaries must undergo lung function tests which cannot be done due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hermanus says the trust has since decided to proceed with the processing of claims where second-degree silicosis or tuberculosis can be proven based on other medical records.
The Tshiamiso Trust, which is facilitating the claims of affected mineworkers, said the lung function tests are necessary to determine the level of damage to the lungs, which is used to determine whether a claimant would be entitled to compensation, and if so, what level.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately meant that we have had to find a new approach to how potentially eligible claimants can lodge their claims,” Hermanus is quoted in Business Day as saying.
Hermanus said the COVID-19 situation means the trust’s extent to which it can pay claims will be limited in the months ahead. The trust will be able to begin receiving claims regarding tuberculosis benefits where medical records exist.
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