Tuesday 27 February

Sonke Gender Justice, the Treatment Action Campaign and SECTION27 welcome the Gauteng High Court’s approval of the settlement agreement in the Silicosis Class Action.

SECTION27 represented Sonke Gender Justice and the Treatment Action Campaign in the application to certify the class in the case in 2015, arguing in that case for the transmissibility of general damages, such as damages for pain and suffering, to the surviving family members (mostly women and children) of mine workers who died due to silicosis. The Court found in favour of this contention, recognising that to do otherwise would create a strong bias against women.

The settlement agreement makes provision for payment of damages to the widows and surviving families of mineworkers in a manner that is pragmatic and protects the interests of often poor and vulnerable women living in rural areas.

The settlement of this important case is a victory for mineworkers and their families and a step towards justice.

For further comment on the approval of the settlement agreement, please refer to the class representatives from the Legal Resources Centre, Richard Spoor Inc. and Abraham Kiewitz Inc.

Issued on behalf of:

SECTION27                       Treatment Action Campaign

Ntsiki Mpulo                    Ngqabutho Mpofu

0827827143                     061 807 6443

Editor’s Notes

SECTION27 and the Treatment Action Campaign commissioned award winning photographer Thom Pierce to document the life stories of the people at the forefront of this case against the mining giants. Thom journeyed through the back roads of South Africa’s Eastern Cape and Free State via the mountains of Lesotho to meet the men and women who were either miners or left behind after the migrant workers contracted silicosis and/or tuberculosis on the gold mines.  Thom produced The Price of Gold exhibition. The full exhibition, or parts of it, has travelled from Johannesburg to Sydney to Cape Town and to Germany.


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