Scores of ex miners queue for compensation



MASERU – Hundreds of retired Basotho gold miners and their relatives queue outside TEBA Offices in Maseru to get their terminal benefits. Ex-miners groups and the Tshiamiso Trust are collaborating with various ministries to ensure that former Basotho gold miners who contracted silicosis and tuberculosis while working in South African mines receive compensation. Two years after the Tshiamiso Trust started processing claims for the historic R5 billion settlement agreement, the trust announced that the first billion had been paid to 11 316 eligible silicosis and TB claimants.

The Tshiamiso Trust was established in 2020 to give effect to the settlement agreement reached between six mining companies and claimant attorneys in the historic silicosis and TB class action. The companies are African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American South Africa, AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold, Sibanye Stillwater, and Gold Fields. The widow of one of the former miners, ’Manthoto Selomo of Liolong, Thaba-Bosiu in Maseru, says the family has been waiting in vain for years to get the promised funds. “My husband died in 2015 after he contracted TB while working in the Gold Fields Mine. We thought his claim would be paid immediately after his death, but we have been waiting since then.

“Today I arrived here at TEBA offices in Maseru at 3 a.m., hoping to get help, but the queue is too long and there are too many people here. “The cold weather is driving most people away, but I am planning to stay here until I get paid because my family is starving and we desperately need the money,” Selomo told Public Eye on Wednesday morning.

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