Necsa’s response to Earthlife Africa (ELA) Memorandum
DATE: 16 November 2017
On 07 November 2017, Necsa Group (South African Nuclear Energy Corporation) were notified of Earthlife Africa’s (ELA’s) intention to march on Thursday, 16 November 2017, and hand over a memorandum relating to allegations that Necsa is accountable to workers who allege to have contracted occupational diseases whilst working for the organisation.
In a peaceful demonstration at the Necsa premises, ELA handed the memorandum to Necsa Group CEO, Mr Phumzile Tshelane. The memorandum was accepted and Mr Tshelane promised to revert as soon as he gets any correspondence from the Public Protector’s office.
In 2012 Earthlife Africa had formally handed over the records and medical files of hundreds of the workers to the Public Protector, who has investigated the allegations that working at Necsa left many of them terminally ill and caused the death of dozens of others.
In 2004, Necsa provided information upon request, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA)), which was promulgated in 2000, regarding former employees. The request was received from the South African Historical Archives (SAHA) who acted on behalf of Earthlife Africa (ELA) who in turn acted on behalf of the former employees. ELA then employed Dr Murray Coombs of Health Gap Network who at that point in time, found that insufficient data was available to draw any conclusion in respect of impaired health.
Since its inception in the late 60s, Necsa has successfully applied international standards and procedures to protect its radiation workers. Our workers are subjected to comprehensive medical surveillance as well as dosimetry (medical surveillance including monitoring of potential exposure to radiation). Necsa’s operations are licensed by the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) whose mandate is to regulate nuclear activities, and to provide for safety standards and regulatory practices for protection of persons, property and the environmentagainst nuclear damage
Necsa complies with the legislative requirements in respect of occupational injuries and diseases and has a good standing with the Compensation Commissioner in respect of compliance with the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA).
The allegations by the complainants are currently being investigated by the Public Protector.
Necsa is awaiting the Public Protector’s final report and we will determine any actions based on its conclusions and recommendations.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ms Amelia Rennie-Kroon
Manager: Stakeholder Relations