CAPE TOWN, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Lawyers acting for thousands of gold miners who contracted lung diseases at work in South African mines said on Wednesday an out-of-court settlement with their employers could be reached by December.
A High Court ruling last year set the stage for protracted proceedings on cases dating back decades in the largest class action suit yet in Africa’s most industrialised country.
Many of the nearly half a million miners who contracted silicosis and tuberculosis, are from nearby countries who supplied labour to South African mines.
Gold miners are appealing against that ruling while at the same time six of the firms, including Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti, Sibanye and Harmony , are holding settlement talks with the workers.
Richard Spoor and Charles Abrahams, lawyers for the workers, told parliament’s mineral resources committee that significant progress had been made in those discussions.