Project Ku-Riha is being rolled out by the Department of Health, with the goal of making substantial inroads into eliminating the backlog of claims, ensuring that new claimants with valid claims are paid their due compensation.
This marks a turnaround in the administration and operation of the compensation fund on which mineworkers who have contracted occupational diseases depend.
To this end, we have begun discussions with relevant government ministries and departments, organised labour, legal representatives of claimants and other mining companies.
The Department of Health, in collaboration with the MBOD and mining companies, recently opened One-Stop Service Centres in Carletonville, Gauteng, and Mthatha, Eastern Cape. These One-Stop Centres are designed to provide medical support to ex-mine-workers, who often cease receiving treatment when they leave employment. As such, the Centres are located in a mining area (Carletonville) as well as a labour-sending area (Mthatha) to try to provide services to the maximum amount of people.
These clinics offer medical examinations, rehabilitation assessment, health promotion and counselling to all patients, as well as referrals to other medical specialists if necessary. These services mean that patients can be diagnosed, be treated and receive the help they need to remain healthy, all in one place. In addition, the Centres help individuals prepare and submit claims to the MBOD for compensation. The Carletonville Centre, which is fully integrated with the Carletonville Hospital, also recently began offering transport to patients and has begun tracing ex-mineworkers in other areas to help them find treatment close to their homes. On average, the Centre in Carletonville sees 80-90 patients a week, while Mthatha sees around 150.