Rail pensioners to sleep outside Parliament over unpaid money

2015-10-14 19:06
ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani surrounded by angry pension claimants. (Jenni Evans, News24)

ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani surrounded by angry pension claimants. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - About 200 angry people vowed to start sleeping on the pavement outside Parliament in Cape Town from Wednesday until they are paid pensions they say they are owed from apartheid-era rail companies.

As women spread their blankets and overnight bags on the cobbled pavement outside Parliament's visitor centre, ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani approached the fray, with Parliament's visitor centre doors firmly shut behind him.

"We are sick and tired of this," shouted one woman at Sizani who kept his cool in the late spring heat as one after the other people crowded around him and shouting that they are fed with the ANC, who they believe is behind the delays of the pension payout.

"The people could not even claim from the Unemployment Insurance Fund [UIF]," said private investigator, Michael Matshaye, angry that the delegation, which included grey-bearded old men in hats, had not been given any answers, and more importantly, their pension money.

Issue on the boil for decades

He explained that about 15 000 employees of Transnet's predecessor, the SA Railways, and 850 from the Ciskei Transport Corporation (CTC) were just verbally dismissed when former president Nelson Mandela "destroyed" the railways and created the single entity, Transnet.

The CTC would have been a "state" transport entity operating in pockets of land the apartheid government had tried to pass off as separate independent states.

Matshaye said the issue had been on the boil for decades, and people had had enough. He believed that some of the pension monies were transferred to a company called Mayibuye whose directors he claimed are from the ANC.

This, he believes, is why the claimants are being ignored. They could not even draw benefits from the UIF, he said, waving around a copy of a petition faxed to Parliament demanding urgent answers on the issue.

He said they would take the matter to the Constitutional Court as they were tired of being told more time was needed to investigate.

The last time they had complained they were told two months was needed to probe the matter but they would not wait any longer, he said.

Read more on:    transnet  |  anc  |  stone sizani  |  cape town  |  protests  |  parliament 2015

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