The SA government has made about R1.5 billion available for the compensation of 106 000 unpaid beneficiaries who may be affected by TB or occupational lung disease.This is according to Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant who was speaking to 4 000 people of the Kuruman community, including ex-mineworkers, at the launch of a new One Stop Health Service centre in the Northern Cape.
The new centre which will deliver TB and occupational lung disease assessments to active and ex-mineworkers as well as administrative services for compensation.
Since the launch of One Stop Health Service Centres, the number of unpaid beneficiaries has increased by 8 320. The Deputy Minister encouraged ex-mineworkers to visit the service centres as well as the mobile centres in order to check the status of their claims and if they are eligible for compensation.
The Kuruman centre is a collaboration by various stakeholders led by government and supported by captains of the mining industry, organised labour and current and ex-mineworker associations with the aim to de-centralise services to claimants and beneficiaries.
Furthermore, the centre is part of the Department of Health’s on-going service roll-out campaign to current and ex-mineworkers following the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi’s national launch of the Ku-Riha project in Carletonville, Gauteng province in 2015.
The service centres enable government to trace eligible previous and current mineworkers who have not claimed their compensation benefits over the last 30 years after they contracted occupational lung disease during the time they were employed at mines.
The Deputy Minister has reiterated that government together with various stakeholders will continue to work together to provide health care services to improve the living and working conditions of current and ex-mineworkers.