Silicosis case: Class action suit not designed to address individual issues

Families of miners who have died from silicosis are seeking compensation from mine companies.

FILE: Supporters of the sick former mineworkers outside the Johannesburg High Court. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court in Johannesburg has heard that a class action suit is the best way to handle a compensation claim by gold miners suffering from silicosis, as it will in the long run, save money and time.

Families want compensation for miners, who have died from silicosis while other breadwinners are unable to work.

If the court certifies the class action suit, it will be the largest of its kind in the country's history.

Advocate Steven Budlender says the class action suit is not designed to resolve each miner's issue regarding silicosis, but the general problem.

More than 50 legal representatives are in court, arguing whether or not there should be a class action suit or whether another platform should be used.

This hearing is only to determine whether miners have a legal leg to stand on.

Budlender says although it will be a complex and expensive court case as, ultimately, everyone will benefit from this.

Meanwhile, workers protesting outside court for a second day demanding to see justice for the miners.