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Mining unions call for immediate change to labour laws after silicosis ruling

On Friday, the High Court ruled in favour of thousands of mineworkers who are living with silicosis.

Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Mining unions have called for health and safety legislations to be reviewed following the landmark silicosis ruling.

On Friday, the High Court in Johannesburg ruled in favour of thousands of mineworkers who are living with silicosis or Tuberculosis while others have already died.

They will now be able to form a class action lawsuit, seeking damages from gold mining companies.

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) spokesperson Manzini Zungu says mining labour laws need to change urgently.

"If they were criminally liable, would we have so many deaths underground? We wouldn't!"

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)'s Luphert Chiloane has called on mining companies not to appeal the High Court judgment, which could see a further lengthy delay before workers get compensation.

"They must just own up and the process should not actually drag on because the judgment is already out."

Amcu says it hopes the judgment will finally 'open the eyes' of government to make the right changes in the interests of poor workers.

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