In a clear sign that a multibillion-rand settlement between gold mining companies and lawyers representing tens of thousands of former mine workers with the lung sickness silicosis is near, both sides have asked for and have been granted a postponement of an appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal. The settlement, estimated in some quarters to be in the region of R5bn, will be paid into a trust that will be used to locate about 100,000 former mine workers with the crippling lung disease caused by inhaling silica dust in gold mines. The trust will assess their health and make payments to them. Parties involved in the silicosis class action said in a letter to the Supreme Court of Appeal that they requested an indefinite postponement of the appeal brought by the mining companies against a court ruling that the matter could be classified as a class action. The parties said in a letter dated December 15 2017 that all the appellants and all the respondents had requested the postponement be...

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