Sonke Gender Justice, SECTION27 and Treatment Action Campaign to Demand Justice for Miners and their Families Affected by Silicosis in the Case of Bongani Nkala & Others v Harmony Gold Mining Company & Others
Sonke Gender Justice (Sonke), the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), and SECTION27 worked collaboratively on this project to conduct media advocacy, research and documentation to raise awareness on silicosis and tuberculosis (TB) in the gold mines of South Africa, as well as to support the class action lawsuit by applying to be amici curiae in the historic Bongani Nkala & Others v Harmony Gold & Others class action lawsuit. In the course of this project, Sonke and TAC were admitted as amici. The admission of Sonke and TAC as amici enabled the submission of evidence that the courts considered missing but pertinent to the lawsuit, specifically the gendered impact of the mining related lung diseases, including the unpaid caregiving provided by women and children in mine-sending communities and the ripple effects of having to dedicate time, money, and personal well-being to provide this care. Sonke conducted original field research in mine-sending communities informing the public campaigning that took place over the course of the project. There was extensive media coverage of the case and the substantive issues it raises, and influential media advocacy tools were produced including documentary films, a series of portraits, and more. All of these efforts culminated in a thousand-person march to support the certification of the class action and public interactive exhibits of the portraits, as well as the airing of the documentary film on national television.