The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare has warned the public against bogus and criminal elements who are masquerading as Government officials and demanding payments for the registration of people who worked in South African mines under the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association (Wenela).
Ex-Wenela workers are set to be compensated for respiratory diseases they contracted while still in service and according to the ministry, the registration and testing of these ex-mine workers is being undertaken for free by Government and the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).
In a statement yesterday, Permanent Secretary for Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Mr Simon Masanga said officials would have positive identification at venues on dates to be announced through various media.
“The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare wishes to advise the general public and ex-Wenela mine workers in particular that there are individuals and organisations misrepresenting themselves as Government officials or agencies for the registration of ex-Wenela mine workers.
“These individuals or organisations are demanding payment for the registration of the ex-Wenela mine workers. The ministry would like to inform members of the general public that it has not engaged any individuals or agencies for registration and testing of ex-Wenela mine workers.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the registration and testing of ex-Wenela mine workers is being undertaken for free of charge by Government and NSSA,” he said.
Mobile registration and testing was being undertaken in phases in all the 10 provinces countrywide.
“The public is advised that the dates and venues will be officially announced through the various media platforms.
“For more information kindly call on +263 242790871-5 or +263 242251022,” Mr Masanga said.
In May, the ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare said, ex-Wenela miners were to be registered and tested for silicosis and pneumoconiosis to help them get compensation from the South African mining companies where they once worked if they had these mining-related lung complaints.
Mine workers who were exposed to harmful substances and ended up contracting silicosis or tuberculosis at South African gold mines are poised to get compensation ranging from R10 000 to R500 000.
The High Court in Johannesburg approved the settlement in the silicosis and tuberculosis class action reached on July 26, 2019 and came into effect on December 10, 2019 once all conditions were fulfilled.
Dependants of mine workers who have since passed away, such as a wife, children or life partner, will receive the payments.
The ministry then called on all ex-Wenela mine workers to come forward and get tested and be registered for free.
For registration, ex-Wenela miners were requested to bring positive identification, name of mine worked in South Africa, mine number, and the period worked in South African mines.
Where the person has died, beneficiaries should bring the death certificate of the person who worked in the mine in the format given above.