Treasury looking for Transnet pension money

2011-05-16 14:42

Treasury is “trying” to find the R1.9 billion needed to pay pensioners who are members of the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund, the Freedom Front Plus said today.

The party’s parliamentary spokesperson on finance, advocate Anton Alberts, said they had received a response from the Treasury after the party threatened to approach the Human Rights Commission and the Equality Court to ensure the money was paid to members.

“The FF Plus received a response from Treasury in which they stated that they are trying to find the R1.9 billion needed to pay the pensions. The FF Plus has been requested to withhold all legal action,” Alberts said.

He described Treasury’s response as a “small victory” and said the party undertook to give Treasury “sufficient” time to get its house in order.

Transnet would in the meantime fund the benefit fund, said Alberts.

“The FF Plus will therefore also monitor the process at Transnet, but that does not mean that the responsibility of the government now falls away. Eventually Treasury will have to shoulder the responsibility for the funds if Transnet drags its feet.”

Last year the pensioners, who had been receiving 2% increases on their pensions every year, were promised that increases would in future be linked to inflation.

They were also promised a once-off payment equal to five months’ pension payments.

They were told earlier this year that Treasury did not have the money to meet the promises. In terms of the original plan Treasury would have made the money available to the fund.

Sake24 reported Treasury spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane as saying they were still negotiating with all parties to find a solution.

Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe said Transnet would take responsibility for the R1.9 billion required, Sake24 reported.

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