Friday, February 5, 2010

Ex-nuclear workers to march on Necsa

Please be informed that ex-nuclear workers who have repeatedly over the past few years failed in their attempts to get compensation from South Africa’s Nuclear Corporation (NECSA) for debilitating and often fatal occupational diseases, have planned a legal march to NECSA’s headquarters at Pelindaba near Pretoria.

Hat-tip to Ex-nuclear workers to march on Necsa - Environment South Africa

They have vowed to stage a “sleep-in” at NECSA’s gates unless they are adequately responded to by the nuclear bosses. The memorandum they intend handing over is attached.

When: Thursday February 4, 2010

Starting time: 10.30 am

Place: Necsa Gate 3, Church Street, Pelindaba (west of Pretoria) Contact person: Mr. Alfred Sepepe 074 299 8214

Many of these Atteridgeville Township based workers formed part of the sample group of 208 ex-nuclear workers who underwent preliminary medical examinations by respected occupational health medical practitioner Dr Murray Coombs. Coombs found that a significant number of these workers suffered from occupational illnesses resultant from their employment at the Pelindaba complex and referred several cases to the Compensation Commissioner. All these applications were rejected. The Commissioner has yet to make known the basis on which he dismissed these applications despite legislation which entitles these workers to compensation based on presumption alone. Coombs further concluded that most of the ex-workers he had seen needed further in-depth medical tests and in 2006 Dr. Coombs approached NECSA to undertake these tests in the presence of representatives appointed by the workers themselves to ensure transparency. NECSA flatly refused and produced its own medical results that denied the claims made in the Coombs Report.

Almost 30 ex-workers from the original sample group have died penniless and with extreme medical conditions since this process began in 2005/6 – this despite numerous appeals to the President, various Ministers and a special hearing before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee in July 2007 which undertook to ensure justice and compensation for these workers. The chairman of that committee was dropped in the new post-elections administration and to date not a single promise made to these workers has been met.

Please contact Mr. Sepepe for further details.

This media release is issued by:

Pelindaba Working Group
acting in solidarity with the plight of these ex-nuclear workers
Dominique Gilbert – 083 740 4676

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