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  • Public Statement on AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Mineworkers with Silicosis and Tuberculosis in Southern Africa

    By Campaigns | July 26, 2017

    In April 2017, Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) published the briefing paper Coughing Up. The paper argues that AngloGold Ashanti and other companies in the Occupational Lung Disease Working Group (OLDWG) not only made huge profits from apartheid gold, but in doing so they completely neglected the health and safety of black mineworkers, leading to so many of them developing the diseases silicosis and tuberculosis (TB).

    A settlement reached in March 2016 with AngloGold Ashanti and Anglo American South Africa, while welcome and positive, is limited to 4,365 claimants. It is not a comprehensive industry-wide settlement. A class action filed in the High Court of South Africa in December 2012 and certified in May 2016 seeks to achieve an industry-wide compensation scheme. However, the OLDWG companies are appealing all aspects of the class action certification.

    ACTSA, in solidarity with a range of South African civil society organisations, has campaigned for justice for Southern African gold mineworkers with silicosis and TB since 2012. We call on AngloGold Ashanti and the other mining companies to urgently provide proper medical screening, decent financial compensation and healthcare, and adequate support for all ex- and current mineworkers suffering from silicosis and TB. To this end, we call on AngloGold Ashanti to answer the following questions.

    1) Why are AngloGold Ashanti and other OLDWG companies appealing all aspects of the class action certification?

    2) Do you believe that the broad terms of any settlement of the class action should be at least as good as the terms of the March 2016 settlement?

    3) When was the last time you met with the legal representatives of the mineworkers that brought the class action?

    4) Will you commit to meeting regularly, at least quarterly, with the legal representatives of the mineworkers bringing the class action, as well as with the National Union of Mineworkers (South Africa), in order to bring about a comprehensive industry-wide settlement that is fair to ill mineworkers?

    5) In terms of implementing the March 2016 settlement, Anglo American stated (at its AGM on 24 April) that 700 of the 4,365 claimants had been paid out. Is this also your understanding and how many claimants have been assessed so far?

    6) Would it be possible to receive more regular (e.g. quarterly) and detailed updates regarding the implementation of the March 2016 settlement?

    Download this statement 

    Topics: Features, News from ACTSA | No Comments »

    Mandela Day 18 July

    By Tony | July 17, 2017

    Mandela Day 18 July 2017

    What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Nelson Mandela

    Nelson Mandela was born 99 years ago on18 July 1918.

    The UN General Assembly agreed the 18 July be designated Mandela Day.

    The proposal is that those inspired by Nelson Mandela’s values, commitment and service do something on Mandela Day and/or other days to help bring about a better, fairer, more just world in which poverty and inequality is reduced and the rights and dignity of all upheld. You decide what to do. You can tell others or not what you are doing.

    If you are inspired by Nelson Mandela do something to reduce poverty and help make a better world

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    Angola has a long way to go on human rights

    By ACTSA | December 12, 2016

    10 December was Human Rights Day. ACTSA’s Senior Campaigns Officer Sunit Bagree argues that Angola has a long way to go to Read the rest of this entry »

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    40th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising

    By ACTSA | June 14, 2016

    Wednesday 16 June 1976 changed South Africa.

    Thousands of youth, mainly secondary school children left their schools to protest against apartheid, which was white supremacy, institutionalised discrimination against black South Africans, denying them their rights. The protest had Read the rest of this entry »

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    We will not forget Itai Dzamara

    By ACTSA | December 8, 2015

    Human Rights Day will be celebrated on 10 December, as it has been every year since 1950. In a sad irony, this year, the day before will mark 9 months since the enforced disappearance of Zimbabwean human rights activist Itai Dzamara.

    Dzamara was at a barbershop in Harare when Read the rest of this entry »

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    South Africa: 20 Years of Freedom

    By Tony | April 26, 2014

    South Africa marks 20 years as a democratic country in 2014. 27 April is Freedom Day, the anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections.

    What has happened? What has been achieved? What are the key challenges South Africa faces?

    This new briefing paper from ACTSA to mark the anniversary provides Read the rest of this entry »

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    The Freedom Charter

    By Mark | June 26, 2013

    The Freedom Charter was the statement of core principles of the South African Congress Alliance, which consisted of the African National Congress, the South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured People’s Congress.

    In 1955, fifty thousand volunteers went out to collect ‘freedom demands’ from the people of South Africa. The Charter was officially adopted on Read the rest of this entry »

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    Pallo Jordan on the massacres at Bisho (1992) and Marikana (2012)

    By Mark | September 13, 2012

    Like so many of the landmarks along our long walk to freedom, September 7th 1992 does not mark a happy occasion. It was day on which the political and social forces striving to give birth to a democratic South Africa, clashed head-on with the joint forces of reaction represented by the tin-pot military strongman, Brigadier Oupa Gqozo and the die-hards of the apartheid regime. Twenty-eight people were mowed down in a desperate act of repression.

    On the 8th September 1992, then President of the ANC, Comrade Nelson Mandela’s issued a public statement on the Bhisho Massacre. The message read in part: Read the rest of this entry »

    Topics: Features | 5 Comments »

    The ANC: Past, present and future

    By Sarah | April 2, 2012

    By Denis Goldberg – Rivonia trial No 3 Accused

    In a short article one cannot trace 100 years of history in detail. This is an interpretation of some moments in the history of the oldest still functioning liberation movement on the African continent.

    As a liberation movement the promise of a democratic non-racist, non-sexist state under the rule of law with constitutional sovereignty rather than parliamentary sovereignty is the implementation of the promises of a progressive constitution that is the furtherance of the process of liberation. As the ruling party the ANC has the task of upholding the constitutional rights  of all, including the former beneficiaries of apartheid, and at the same time of implementing the rights of the historically oppressed to redistribution of the land, of natural resources and the economic and social benefits guaranteed by the constitution. This has turned out to be a tricky balancing act as the country seeks to resolve these conflicts. Let us go back in history. Furthermore, combating poverty requires the economy to grow at 6 to 8 per cent every year just to maintain current levels of income while building the social infrastructure for education, health, transport and so on. Read the rest of this entry »

    Topics: Features | 2 Comments »

    Zimbabwe: Three years of Inclusive Government

    By Tony | February 15, 2012

    February 11th was the 3rd anniversary of the formation of the Inclusive Government in Zimbabwe.   Not much seems to have changed since the 2nd anniversary.

    Initially there was some economic improvement yet unemployment is at very high levels, goods may be in shops but for most Zimbabweans they are unaffordable.  The violation of human rights, intimidation, arrests and harassment, the denial of freedom of expression, organisation and the use of the apparatus of the state in support of one political party, Zanu PF continues.   Whilst the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) took a stronger stance on Zimbabwe and expressed impatience at the slowness in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement which is the basis for the Inclusive Government this has not had any observable impact on the ground. It is estimated that over the coming months approx 1 million Zimbabweans will need food aid.  What then of the prospects for the future. Will it be more of the same? Read the rest of this entry »

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