Today's Labour News

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MotsoalediMining Weekly reports that it is estimated that more than one-million former mineworkers, who are in need of medical assessments and treatments, are without access to health services.  

This was told to delegates at the Mine Health and Safety Summit, held in Benoni on Thursday, by Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.  He noted that, with the help of government, the Minerals Council SA, trade unions and other social partners had come together in 2014 to solve the dire lack of access to healthcare and assistance for mining industry employees.  It was because of this combined approach that the Minister was able to report on Thursday that a database, which currently consisted of 400,000 former mineworkers and which helped track the process of occupational disease and injury claims from workers, was fully functional.  Another 600,000 claimant files were anticipated to be added to the database by April 2019.  This database, he explained, would help government with the key identification and tracking of the process of claims of workers and former mineworkers suffering, for example, with occupational lung disease.  Since 2016, R600-million has been paid out to 20,000 former mineworkers, 200 of whom were from neighbouring countries but employed in SA.  However, Motsoaledi lamented that R1-billion in mine benefits remained unclaimed for almost 60,000 former mineworkers, who had not been found.  This, he indicated, was because there was no database implemented in prior years to keep track of mineworkers and claims.  The Minister appealed to delegates at the summit for assistance in helping to find these former workers.

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