Payments for goldminers who contracted silicosis, TB a complex process - trust

The trust held a briefing on Tuesday about the payment process and the work that had been done since it was formally constituted in February last year.

This undated image shows a view of a mine underground. Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - Trustees of the Tshiamiso Trust set up to benefit former gold mineworkers who contracted silicosis and TB said that while they would falter and stumble as they dealt with the intricate process of issuing payments, their intention was to do the very best they could.

The trust held a briefing on Tuesday about the payment process and the work that had been done since it was formally constituted in February last year.

This follows a series of reports by Eyewitness News last month, which highlighted the plight of former mineworkers who have been waiting on payments since a settlement was reached with the country’s major gold mines in 2018.

SPECIAL REPORT: After 2 years, historic silicosis case miners await justice

Over 10,000 calls were made to the trust since its systems were set up at the end of last year, with 5,638 appointments conducted with people who wanted to lodge claims.

So far, the trust has only made seven payments as part of a trial run to test its systems.

Sophia Kisting, a trustee of Tshiamiso, spoke of how they were juggling the reality of difficult circumstances and a complex trust deed, which was tying them up in a myriad of knots as they worked to ensure that the mineworkers were afforded equal access.

“Every day we have to anchor ourselves with the knowledge that we are dealing with the mineworkers who have been severely disadvantaged, not just through history but also through illness and the weaknesses of our systems and the lack of access to health care and that the money itself that is gonna come through the trust is not the entire answer.”

The trust will benefit miners who worked in participating gold mines between 1965 and 2019.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.