Global Asbestos Awareness Event: Standing together against Asbestos 

Report compiled by Prudence Kotoloane, Kuruman Asbestos Interest Group



The event was held at the Loopeng Village Community Hall, Kuruman, South Africa, on April 6, 2018. It was organized by the Asbestos Interest Group (A.I.G); the facilitators were A.I.G staff members. Target group: local communities in the Kuruman region.


The Asbestos Interest Group1 is a non-profit organization based in Kuruman. The Group’s main objectives are to raise awareness about asbestos and identify asbestos in local communities, principally in affected areas of the Northern Cape and North West. It is one of the organizations funded by the Asbestos Relief Trust (A.R.T.) and the Kgalagadi Relief Trust (K.R.T.) – under the trust’s social responsibility project. This was the third Global Asbestos Awareness Event to be hosted by the A.I.G.


The event was well attended, with community members from the following villages:

  • Loopeng;
  • Caltar;
  • Ganap;
  • Gamokatedi;
  • Mathanthanyaneng;
  • Slough;
  • Klipom.

Candle Lighting

We had a candle lighting ceremony in which candles were lit for the following reasons:

White Candle: to give hope to those affected by asbestos related diseases. We hope that one day there will be a cure for these diseases.

Yellow Candle: to give courage and strength to those taking care of the bed-ridden asbestos related disease patients.

Navy Blue Candle: to give comfort to the families that have lost their loved ones because of asbestos related diseases


Asbestos Interest Group staff.


Community members.


Community Members.


Sr. Magabanyane (Asbestos Relief Trust)

Palliative Care Nurse Sr. Phemelo Magabanyane’s presentation covered the following topics:

  • the formation of the Asbestos Relief Trust and Kgalagadi Relief Trust;
  • the services rendered at both the Trusts;
  • her duties as a palliative care nurse at the Asbestos Relief Trust.

In particular, she drew attention to the danger of asbestos exposure in relation to contracting asbestos related diseases, and provided information on the A.R.T claim process.


Sr. Magabanyane.

Dr. Keitumetse Raadt (Oncology – Kimberly)

Dr. Raadt’s presentation dealt with the following subjects:

  • the danger of cancer;
  • the effect of cancer in our bodies;
  • the risk factors that cause cancer;
  • the signs and symptoms of cancer;
  • the danger of asbestos;
  • what causes mesothelioma;
  • the importance of regular medical examinations.

She further encouraged the community to take their medication as directed, and not to stop taking the medication.


Dr. Keitumetse Raadt.

Sr. Brenda Maswabi (Oncology – Kimberly)

Sister Maswabi discussed:

  • the importance of chemotherapy;
  • the side effects of chemotherapy;
  • the support needed by a patient on chemotherapy;
  • services offered at the Kimberly oncology unit.

She also requested the community to take their medication seriously as it cost the government a lot of money, noting that some patients discontinued chemotherapy because of concerns regarding transport between Kuruman and Kimberly.


Sr. Brenda Maswabi.

Sr. Peme (Cancer Charity Workers (C.C.W))

Sister Peme considered:

  • The formation of C.C.W;
  • The services C.C.W offer to cancer patients at the oncology unit in Kuruman;
  • C.C.W community responsibilities.

She urged the community to take their health seriously and always be cautious about changes occurring in their bodies. She also encouraged members of the community to give each other support especially where cancer was concerned.


Sr. Peme.

Mr. L. Mogatle – (Dr. Jood’s Office)

Mr. Mogatle talked about:

  • The importance of a post-mortem;
  • The process for doing a post-mortem;
  • The required documents for a post-mortem.

He encouraged the community to come to the office to ask for information when their loved ones have passed away.


Mr. L. Mogatle.

Councillor Tswere (Joe Morolong Municipality)

The Councillor expressed gratitude for the information that had been given to the community, and encouraged those present to spread the message to members of the community that did not come to the awareness event.

She said that she wished that the informative event could come again to Loopeng and, on behalf of the Joe Morolong Municipality, thanked the A.I.G for organizing it.


Councillor Tswere.

Chief Bantsheng (Loopeng)

Thanking the presenters for providing so much information, Chief Bantsheng also said that he was grateful that the community was given a chance to ask questions. This, he said, showed that the organisation (A.I.G) cared about the community – it had brought presenters that were friendly and very interested in people’s lives. He thanked the A.I.G for bringing the event to Loopeng.


Chief Bantsheng.


As mentioned above, after every presentation the community was given a chance to ask questions; this elucidated more facts about asbestos issues. Those that had personal enquiries were able to talk privately with the presenters after the formal program.


Community member asking a question.

Information & posters

Information handouts provided included:

  • frequently asked questions handouts;
  • asbestos kills pamphlets;
  • lung diseases and work pamphlets;
  • asbestos and asbestos related diseases booklets;
  • Asbestos Relief Trust how to claim instructions.


The A.I.G thanks the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat for their contribution to supporting this event – it was a huge success.

The event strengthened the A.I.G’s ability to campaign on asbestos issues and raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos around Kuruman. The group hopes to bring asbestos awareness to even more communities.


           Standing together against Asbestos!!

Uploaded May 5, 2018


1 Asbestos Interest Group, 10 Accacia Street, Kuruman, 8460; P. O. Box 898; Kuruman, 8460; Tel/Fax 053 712 2947/082 844 3909; Email:



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