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South Africa: Government Working on Pay Outs for Ex-Mineworkers
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Monday, July 11, 2016
Focus: Thematic Website
Country: South Africa
Created: Jul 11, 2016

Acting Director General at the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Tshediso Matona, told a recent workshop this multi-stakeholder co-ordinated effort to pay out unpaid pensions and provident funds to ex-mineworkers is an important step towards alleviating poverty and restoring the dignity of people who contributed to these funds over their working lives.

Some of these unpaid benefits date back as far as the 1970s. 

The pilot ran from 4 - 6 July 2016 in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

The pilot followed a request from the municipality for the FSB to assist with several requests made by ex-mineworkers for assistance to receive their unpaid financial benefits.  

The municipality arranged community volunteers who worked with the FSB and DPME team to collect the records of all the ex-mineworkers in the area. These records will be used to search for the potential benefits due to these ex-mineworkers. 

The ex-mineworkers raised several concerns which included the long duration it may take for their benefits to be paid out. Other concerns were that widows failed in the past to receive their deceased husband’s employment records from their previous employers. 

Several documents were presented to be used to track and trace the ex-mineworkers unpaid financial benefits and these included old pay slips, chamber of mines industry numbers, old dom pass ID numbers, provident and pension fund letters, old payslips, old TEBA mining company cards.

Some ex-mineworkers explained that in the past they experienced numerous challenges in getting their unpaid benefits, including people who solicited money from them in exchange for services to assist them to obtain their unpaid benefits.

The pilot illustrated the need for improved integration of the various support programs to former mineworkers which also include bringing support to better deal with occupational health diseases in the historical major mine labour sending areas as several mineworkers requested assistance with compensation for Silicosis and TB. 

An improved integrated process will now be rolled out in the major historical mine labour sending areas of King Sabata Dalindyebo, Nyandeni, Nquza Hill, Mhlontlo, Port St Johns, Mbizana, Ntabankulu and AbaQulusi, eDumbe, Nongoma, Ulundi and uPhongolo.

A Steering Committee on Unclaimed Benefits led by DPME and the development of Task Teams covering Legal, Administrative (Database and IT system) and Tracking and Tracing interventions have been established to ensure unpaid pensions and provident funds reach ex-mineworkers.

Following an instruction from the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Special Presidential Package for the Revitalisation of Distressed Mining Communities, a workshop was held on 24 June 2016 bringing together the FSB, representatives of pension and provident funds and the Chamber of Mines and trade unions.
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