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MINING: Chamber Of Mines Takes on Compensation Commissioner

 





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The Chief Executive of the Chamber of Mines, Mr Zoli Diliza, has announced that the Chamber of Mines has approached the High Court for a declaratory order to determine a common legal understanding with the Compensation Commissioner regarding the contribution to be made by existing controlled mines and works to the Compensation Fund.

This follows the stated intention of the Compensation Commissioner to increase levies paid by currently operating controlled mines and works to fund the entire shortfall in the compensation fund which, in 2003, was estimated to be R610 million. This is despite the fact that R414 million of this shortfall would be towards claims from former mineworkers whose claims should be paid by the state as the controlled mines had already contributed to the Fund in respect of their risk shifts.


“The statutory stipulations of the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act (ODMWA) suggest that the Compensation Commissioner may not include in the levy of any mine any amount that is not intended to be used solely for funding benefits payable to persons who performed risk work at that mine, nor may the Compensation Commissioner include in any levy of any mine the cost of paying compensation to persons who no longer work at that mine, as there are provisions in ODMWA to cater for former mineworkers through Parliamentary interventions. We are of the opinion that it would be unlawful for existing controlled mines and works to bear the burden of a shortfall in respect of former mine workers including those who had worked in mines and works that did not contribute to the Fund and for mines that had contributed but were no longer in existence”, said Mr Diliza..

Mr Diliza said the Chamber of Mines was mindful of the potential consequences of the shortfall to the former mineworkers and expressed hope that once the declaratory order had been made, the Compensation Commissioner would swiftly address this matter through channels stipulated by statute.

The matter will be deliberated in the Gauteng North High Court (Pretoria) on 23 and 24 November 2010.


 
 
 
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