On 8-10 July 2015, GovInn Deputy Director, Chris Nshimbi, participated in a Policy Dialogue on TB, Silicosis, HIV, Portability of Social Security Benefits and Compensations in Ezulwini, Swaziland, where he shared GovInn research with parliamentarians from the Kingdom of Swaziland and other stakeholders and spoke on “Regional policy frameworks for viable ‘portabilities’ in Southern Africa.” The dialogue was made possible with support from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the Southern African Trust (SAT), GovInn at the University of Pretoria along with representation from the Medical Bureau for Occupational Disease/Compensation Commissioner for Occupational Diseases (MBOD/CCOD) in the Department of Health of the Government of the Republic of South Africa, the World Bank, Abrahams Kiewitz Attorneys and other stakeholders.
The policy dialogue brought together contributions and insights on the plight of ex-miners from the Swaziland Migrant Mineworkers Association (SWAMMIWA), the Southern African Miners Association (SAMA), Parliamentarians from the Senate and the House of Assembly of the Kingdom of Swaziland, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committees on Health, Labour and HIV, Inter-Ministerial Departments including Labour, Health, Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Tinkhundla and others. At the end of the Dialogue the participants issued a joint communiqué and statement, whose resolutions and recommendations the Minister of Health of the Kingdom of Swaziland committed to give full attention. Most importantly for the ex-migrant mineworkers, the MBOD/CCOD committed a sum of 3 billion rand set aside to compensate the ex-migrant mineworkers that had contracted occupational diseases during their service in South African mines. Accordingly, the workshop noted the urgent need for all the stakeholders to trace, find, medically examine, diagnose, treat and compensate all the affected ex-migrant mineworkers as appropriate. Follow the link to the full “Resolution on Institutional Framework” statement issued by the workshop.