The Guard

The Truth On Board

Ex-miners outreach roadshow in full swing

By Emily Setona

QWAQWA – The deputy minister (DM) of health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo has embarked on a nationwide ex-mine workers outreach programme that aims to help them access their pension monies or medical condition pay-outs that have not been claimed from their former employers.
Dhlomo said the President has mandated him and other deputy ministers, DM of Mineral Resources and Energy Dr. Nobuhle Nkabane and the DM of Employment and labour Boitumelo Moloi to spearhead this programme.

He said the programme was established to address the plight of historically disadvantaged citizens of the country who worked in the mines, some of whom have even died without having received their pensions from the mines and others got ill from working in the mines.
The DM was addressing former mine workers and their families at the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) church in Makwane on April 24.

“Today we have four sites in Qwaqwa so that people don’t have to travel far to enter their details into the database. There will also be a roadshow where mobile clinics will be available so that doctors can check our people for TB or silicosis. This is to enable our people to be assisted to claim the monies owed to them by the mines if they are discovered to qualify when they hand in the necessary documentation,” Dlhomo said in an interview with The Guard.

Mpolokeng Mokubung, whose father worked in the mines but has since passed away, was one of the people who attended the roadshow, where they related the challenges they encounter.
“We encounter a lot of problems when we try to claim our parents’ monies from the mines because my father worked in the mines and he has passed away and so has my mother. The fact that I was young when all this happened is proving to be a problem for me because I do not have the medical documents that show that my father was sick from a lung disease he contracted from working in the mine,” Mokubung said.

Molifi Motlokoa, a retired mineworker who used to work at Harmony Mine in Virginia, said he stopped working in 1992 and has tried to claim his pension money with little success.
In response to the people’s concerns, Dr Mpho Rabada from the Department of Health said apart from having these sites where people can bring their documents and register their details on the database, the purpose of the medical roadshows will be to assist people with medical check-ups so that their health status can be checked if they have contracted any diseases associated with working in the mines, predominately TB or silicosis.

Engaging with ex miner workers health deputy minister Sibongiseni Dlhomo and Maluti-a-Phofung executive mayor Masetjhaba Lakaje-Mosia.

“We will check which mine you worked for, if you have any medical conditions, if there are any outstanding pension monies owed to you. Then if you qualify, we will assist you to claim. It is hard to help those who do not have all the necessary documents, but we will do our best to assist,” Rabada said.

For her part, executive mayor Masetjhaba Lakaje Mosia said the roadshow have the full support of the Maluti-a-Phofung (MAP) local municipality because it is a wonderful initiative. She expressed hope that the message will reach more people in the community.