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Over 30 mines sign settlement in silicosis matter

This class action lawsuit is seen as a landmark case which is the first of its kind in South Africa.

Members of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) & Sonke Gender Justice protesting outside court to show their support for ex-miners seeking compensation for contracting silicosis while working underground. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - More than 30 gold mine companies have signed an out of court settlement, which will pave the way for compensation for thousands of miners who contracted tuberculosis and silicosis.

There are still no details about the amount involved or how much each miner will receive.

The miners' legal representative Richard Spoor says the aim is for a trust to be established, which will be run independently.

“It’s been a long time coming, we began this litigation in 2005 and we established the right to sue in 2011. It’s huge in terms of the number of people covered and affected by it, I think in terms of the parties as well.”

This class action lawsuit is seen as a landmark case which is the first of its kind in South Africa.