Ministry facilitates efforts to assist ex-miners

30 Nov 2023

No tour has been undertaken across the country to identify Batswana ex-miners who worked in the South African mines and provide them with assistance related to their medical issues and compensation.

This was revealed by the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Ms Anna Mokgethi when responding to a question in Parliament on Tuesday.

Ms Mokgethi, however, said the ministry was facilitating initiatives that would assist in addressing all the issues related to payment or compensation of the ex-miners.

She said a task force consisting of representatives from the civil society and government had already been formed. She said the task force would draft a framework through which the issues would be effectively addressed. She added that the task force was in constant engagement with its counterparts in South Africa.

“Parallel to these efforts, a Non-Governmental Organisation called Tshiamiso Trust in South Africa has been set up to deal with any payment or compensations to former gold mine workers who worked in South African gold mines covered by the settlement agreement reached between six gold mining companies; African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American SA,

Anglo Gold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony and Sibanye-Stillwater, and attorneys in the silicosis and TB class action,” she said.

Ms Mokgethi added that the ministry was engaging the Department of Health in South Africa with a view to enter into an agreement that would lead to a cooperation in consultation with parties involved in the matter.

“Both ourselves and our South African counterparts believe that a government to government approach is a sustainable platform through which these issues can effectively be resolved. The intention in undertaking all these efforts is to identify the best practical methodology that all parties, fund administrators, ex-miners, and the respective health departments of both countries, can reach consensus on.

It is therefore my wish for the whole plan to have been implemented by March 2024,” she said.

Currently, Ms Mokgethi said, the ministry had recorded over 1 300 ex-miners who presented themselves at the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner in Botswana.

Tonota MP, Mr Pono Moatlhodi had asked the minister to state if there were any plans to tour the constituency with a view to identify the ex-miners and pay them their benefits, as well as accord them medical assistance. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : BOPA

Location : GABORONE

Event : PARLIAMENT

Date : 30 Nov 2023