Tunatazama - Community Monitors

My Brother suffered silicosis By Teboho Grabie

In my community of Kanana, I often heard people talking about Silicosis, and told myself that it a disease just like many more others. Quite often we as people are ignorant and do not bother to understand problems which are affecting other people, we are mainly concerned about ourselves and families.

When my uncle was sick and diagnosed with silicosis by the doctors, it’s when I realized that I should not take anything for granted. I looked back and remembered that people used to talk about this decease and now it has made its entry into our family. It was hard and painful as i could see my uncle suffer. He was an ex-employee of the Kopanong Anglo Gold Ashanti, after being retrenched due to illness. While at home he used to live a fancy life, forgetting that he was sick, then after some time he started getting very sick. After a long stay in hospital he got much better and started to look for employment again at the mine and lucky enough to be afforded one as a stope team leader.

Like many others, he worked for several years and he got sick again, and hospitalized again at the mine hospital known as Wesvaal.  After being discharged by the hospital he thought he could work again, unfortunately the mine decided to retrench him, citing that he was still sick. He died after extreme suffering of silicosis. This sickness is very dangerous to people who are working in the mines.