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Daniel Kotton has been appointed CEO of the Tshiamiso Trust. This is the organisation’s first appointment of a permanent fulltime staff member.

The appointment represents a significant milestone in the establishment of the systems and processes that will enable the Trust to carry out its mandate to implement the May 2018 class action settlement.

The settlement is likely to see several billion Rands paid over the next 12 years to thousands of former and current mineworkers who contracted silicosis and tuberculosis between 1965 and 2019 while employed on mines owned or operated by the six mining companies that are parties to the settlement. 

Though a psychologist by training, Kotton has spent the last 15 years of his professional life in the financial and other services sectors, including in the health benefit sector. His focus has been on the successful delivery, integration and implementation of complex strategic business management processes and IT workflows in various organisations.

He was also co-head of the South African government’s Operation Phakisa workstream on the scale-up and sustainability planning for 3 250 primary healthcare clinics across South Africa. These plans were adopted by cabinet in 2014.

Kotton has developed strong relationships with local and international donors. He has specialised in the development of funding mechanisms and systems for servicing claims.

In his previous positions his responsibilities included establishing operations in various African countries, including the countries outside South Africa known as labour sending areas to the country’s mining industry.

In his role as Head of Health and Wellness for Standard Bank Africa, Kotton and his team won the 2007 Global Business Coalition award for the Best Workplace Health and Wellness Programme in the world. They had implemented the programme in the 17 African countries in which Standard Bank operated. His other previous employers include Absa and Barclays banks, EOH Health and Liberty Health Holdings.

“Daniel was selected from among 209 applicants for the position,” said Professor May Hermanus, chairperson of the Tshiamiso Trust. He added that the trustees consider themselves extremely fortunate to have found an individual with skills and experience that so closely match what the Trust will need in the years ahead. “This will involve setting up extremely complex claims and payments systems in several southern African countries, which will include medical examination services.”

As CEO, Kotton will report directly to the board of trustees. He will be responsible for leading and directing the development and implementation of the Trust’s fulfilment of its mandate in terms of the settlement agreement. This will include realising the Trust’s vision, and driving its long and short-term strategic direction. Kotton will also be responsible for leading the executive and management team in all Trust operations and functions across a wide range of private, public and civil society organisations and SADC countries.

“I feel privileged to have been selected to carry out this work which is critical to the future livelihoods of so many people who have suffered ill health as a consequence of their work in an industry central to the development of South Africa,” said Kotton. He explained that his first task is to develop a full understanding of the task that lies ahead. “Building on the work the Trust has already carried out, we need to establish the systems that will ensure that benefits to eligible claimants will begin to flow as soon as possible,” he concluded.

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