Numerous articles related to asbestos-related protests in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district have been churned out by this newspaper year in, year out without corresponding answers to the plight of the protestors.
The level of inertia from the outcry has necessitated the Kathu Gazette to consult relevant organisations dealing with the compensation of the asbestos ex-mineworkers under the Griqua Exploration and Finance Company (GEFCO) and African Chrysotile Asbestos (ACA).
This is simply trying to get to the understanding of the duel on the flip side of the protesting community. A well detailed document was availed for clarification by the Johannesburg based office dealing with the compensation process for the same claimants after a written questionnaire was submitted to it.
Without laying blame on individuals in the compensation process, the document revealed that all is well as long as an individual has followed due processes and found deserving to receive compensation.
Ex-mine workers who had been exposed to asbestos from qualifying operations and developed asbestos related diseases qualify to claim. Ex-miners without any asbestos related diseases do not qualify.
Also individuals who lived near or within the qualifying mines do qualify to claim if infected. Qualifying operations are the mines, mills and other operations owned by or associated with the Founders of the Asbestos Relief Trust. The founders are the companies that provided the compensation fund for the claimants.
The would-be-claimant must approach the Asbestos Relief Trust to obtain proof that he or she worked for the qualifying operations, mines or mills. The Trust Deed provides compensation for the following illnesses:
1.Asbestos dust disease (pneumoconiosis) with moderate lung function impairment.
2.Asbestos dust disease (pneumoconiosis) with severe lung function impairment.
3.Asbestos-related lung cancer.
Having worked at the qualifying mines, the Asbestos Relief Trust pays for the medical examinations to establish whether or not you suffer from compensable asbestos related disease that include clinical examination, chest x-ray and lung function test.
Kuruman community can go to the Asbestos Interest Group for free assistance. Like any other institution, a verification process is needed to prove that you were a member or worker of the qualifying mines with all the medical reports obtained.
Applying for compensation, further examinations are conducted to determine whether or not you have a potential claim. Medical reports are
assessed by a panel of specialist doctors. If you have been found with a compensable asbestosis condition, your award is calculated and the claim processed for payment.
In a nutshell, the document clearly explains why the human rights advocate Richard Spoor ought to be exonerated from the ensuing allegations that he still holds the compensation money he justifiably facilitated for the ex-miners through his legal recourse.
The compensation fund is no longer under his jurisdiction or prudence, but directly managed by the trust mandated to identify deserving claimants as stipulated by the document. This is where the would-be claimants ought to draw distinct lines between the advocate and themselves.
Accurate information is needed to come to the closure regarding compensation processes to avoid false clashes among claimants, government and organisations regarding access to the fund.
A couple of splinter groups emerged and gave themselves full legitimacy when news trickled that a compensation fund for asbestos ex-mine workers had been procured.
Kgatelopele Asbestos Community is one of the organisations in hot pursuit of the compensation fund. The question is: Is the organisation well informed of the proper processes and the current manager(s) of the fund?
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