Thousands of miners, ex-employees and dependents of deceased will finally receive compensation for suffering through tuberculosis or silicosis because of working underground in South African gold mines. Six mining companies will pay out a combined R5bn ($400Million) in claims.

Silicosis is caused by inhaling silica dust. The dust particles cannot be seen by the human eye, and if inhaled, can cause scarring in the lungs, which reduced their elasticity. This can also lead to a higher likelihood of tuberculosis. Today mining companies are required to provide efficient ventilation, furnish dust plans to authorities and ensure employees wear personal protective equipment, including masks.

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