Posted on: February 6, 2012 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

It’s been a long hard road but there could be light at the end of the tunnel for former workers of the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa), many of whom are now terminally ill, allegedly after they were employed at Necsa’s Pelindaba nuclear complex, near Pretoria.

Earthlife Africa has formally handed over the records and medical files of hundreds of the workers to the Public Protector, who has promised to investigate allegations that working at the nuclear plants left many of them terminally ill and caused the death of dozens of others.

Earthlife, the Pelindaba Working Group, and the Atteridgeville workers group, which comprises former nuclear labourers from the Pretoria area, allege they were forced to work near or with contaminated material without protective clothing and that they were not adequately compensated for their illnesses.

Necsa denies their allegations and says they were properly treated and given the necessary protective clothing.

The workers and their families are hoping that the Public Protector will get to the bottom of the issue and justice will be served.

Their cause has been tirelessly fought for by Earthlife Africa on a very limited budget. The group managed to obtain medical records from Necsa, fund a medical doctor to undertake medical assessments for workers and identify likely candidates for compensation.

“Earthlife is very grateful that the Public Prosecutor has now taken an interest in the concerns of the workers and we will work with the staff of this institution to ensure that the best possible outcomes are achieved,” read the environmental groups statement.

“We will also work to ensure that workers, in the nuclear installations in South Africa and on the mines where uranium is mined, are afforded the protection that the health and safety regulations require.”

Source: The New Age


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