Johannesburg, 24 March, 2023 / 9:23 pm (ACI Africa).
A Catholic Priest in South Africa is lamenting the failure of some mining companies in the country to compensate miners who suffer and have died from silicosis and tuberculosis caused by exposure to high levels of silica dust while working in the gold mines.
In a Tuesday, August 23 statement, the Director of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) says while most companies accepted to settle damages after a class action suit was approved by a full Bench of the High Court in 2019, two companies, DRDGOLD and East Rand Proprietary Mines (ERPM), have continued appealing the court’s ruling.
“We call on DRDGOLD and ERPM to act in good faith in the interests of South African society, and settle their historic debts to mine workers made sick in their mines as a result of working in unsafe conditions,” Fr. Stan Muyebe says in the statement issued after the March 21 Humans Rights Day in South Africa.
He says the companies' persistence in pushing for litigation “has devastating effects as sick and dying mine workers hold on to life in a legal battle now raging for more than 10 years and spanning decades of mining activity.”
“We must address this tragedy,” says the member of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans – OP).