The 'rec' was for the exclusive use of white employees at Koegas, which was one of the country's principal producers of blue asbestos. Until 1978 it was owned by Cape Asbestos, a subsidiary of Anglo American Corporation's British arm. Cape did little to inform its employees of the known dangers to health of blue asbestos and little to protect them. When sued for compensation by some 7 500 former employees and dependents who were affected by asbestos-related diseases, Cape agreed in 2001 to a settlement of £21m. A year later it reneged on the agreement and in 2003 paid £11m in 'final settlement'. Sufferers, many of them destitute and desperately ill, were bitterly disappointed. Those who subsequently manifested disease received no compensation. Anglo American have declined any responsibility for the disaster.
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