SA Quantum claims ‘fallacious’, says NUM

2010-04-01 15:02

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Thursday denied any

business dealings with the company Southern Africa Quantum, which was reported

to be investing the union members’ pension fund.


“The NUM took a resolution many years ago to consolidate all

retirement funds into a single one and has no relation with SA Quantum,” the

union said in a statement.


The Mail & Guardian reported that Noluthando Vavi, the wife of

Congress of South African Trade Unions’ (Cosatu) secretary general Zwelinzima

Vavi, was being paid R60?000 a month by SA Quantum to market the company’s

financial products to union members.


According to the report, Noluthando had already helped to secure

direct and indirect business with two of Cosatu’s biggest union affiliates, NUM

and the National Union of Metalworkers.


“Retirement funds are run by boards of trustees of which 50 percent

of them come from the employee side and the other 50 percent from

employers.


“In terms of the law, once these trustees serve on these boards,

they become independent in exercising their fiduciary responsibilities,” NUM

said.


The article also quoted SA Quantum’s chief executive of financial

services Veon Bock saying Noluthando had been instrumental in securing a

contract with Teba Bank, which is owned by NUM members.


The company had a contract with the bank that involved distributing

benefits to widows and orphans of deceased members.


“For the record, NUM is not involved in awarding tenders for either

retirement funds or Teba Bank as suggested,” said the union.

NUM said it was not involved in any of the decisions taken, as

employee and employer representatives made decisions on behalf of their

constituencies.


“It is therefore inconceivable how the Cosatu general secretary

could have directly or indirectly influenced the processes.”


The company was also said to be doing other work for NUM ranging

from HIV and Aids training programmes to the distribution of surplus pension

funds.


“It is totally untrue and fallacious that SA Quantum does HIV

training and distributes surplus pension directly for the NUM.”


The union reiterated Cosatu’s call for lifestyle audits and would

not be “discouraged by an unfounded media report that seek to portray working

class leaders in bad light for narrow political gains“.

 

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