AN EXHIBITION TO GIVE A VOICE TO SICK MINERS WHO WILL BE INVOLVED IN A COURT CASE AGAINST SASOL
Twenty-two former underground miners are claiming more than R80m in damages from Sasol Coal after they contracted serious lung and other diseases as a result of years of inhaling coal dust while working in underground coal mines.
They are arguing that Sasol Coal was negligent in failing to take adequate care to maintain healthy working conditions underground, in violation of several health and safety laws. Even if it was not negligent, the miners say, the company bears the liability of their ill health and loss of income for being unable to work.
The miners are represented by Richard Spoor, the attorney who last year reached a R5Bn settlement with seven gold mining companies for miners afflicted with silicosis contracted after years of breathing silica dust in underground mines.
SACBC Justice and Peace Commission has organized an exhibition at Constitutional Hill, from 30th May to 6th June, to show support to the ex-miners and to enhance the visibility of the plight of the ex-miners who will be involved in the litigation against Sasol and other coal mining companies.
As a nation, we have often prided ourselves in cheap access to electricity, which is based on coal. There is lack of visibility of the human cost of coal-based energy. Over the decades, thousands of ex-miners who are sick as a result of coal mining and coal-based energy have remained invisible and voiceless. The Exhibition seeks to give a voice to the sick miners and shine light on their struggle for justice. The damage inflicted by the South African coal mining industry requires remedy. The mining companies must take some responsibility in paying compensation to the ex-miners suffering from black lung disease.
On 30th May, there will be a session at half past five in the evening, which offers an opportunity for conversation with the lawyers and representatives of the mine workers. We would be grateful if you could join us for the session.
Other than Sasol court case, SACBC Justice and Peace Commission is assisting sick ex-mine workers to prepare court cases against other coal mining companies.
Click the link to listen to some of the stories of the ex-miners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GBOINfCDh0