Maseru – It is the responsibility of civil society to promote advocacy among all stakeholders to adopt, disseminate and implement protocols aimed towards benefiting mineworkers, ex-miners and their families across the region.
The Southern Africa Miners Association SAMA President Mr. Rants’o Mantsi said this in his opening remarks at the Second Ordinary General Assembly in Maseru, saying in recent years, subjects of the migrant health and cross border security benefits have attracted considerable regional and international attention.
He added that this has led to development of various instruments which include Southern African Development Community SADC Declaration on Tuberculosis TB in the Mining Sector in 2012, the Regional Harmonised TB Treatment Protocol in 2014 as well as the SADC Portability of Social Security Benefits in May 2016.
He said the meeting is convened at a critical time when governments, miners associations and development partners are requested to give immediate response to the delivery of social security benefits for the ex-miners and their dependents accumulated in various insurance companies and mining houses in South Africa.
He added that the SAMA General Assembly is taking place at a time when growth is being registered in affiliated countries, saying growth requires more responsibility, collaboration and commitment in serving the entire communities.
Mr. Mantsi also challenged the delegates to go beyond business as usual and come up with implementable action plans and go out there to demonstrate stewardship, and become the kind of community associations and champions needed.
SAMA is a regional body of seven national ex-miners associations that was established to coordinate activities and programmes undertaken by associations at country level, and the general assembly meets every five years to review progress, share experiences and map the way forward towards effective implementation of livelihoods projects for the benefit of ex-miners and their families.