The DA will be writing to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, requesting the urgent summons of Transnet officials in order to obtain clarity on the status of the Transnet Pension Fund and the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund (TSBF), as well as what disbursements are yet to be made from the funds.
This follows pending class action proceedings, which are to be heard at the Pretoria High Court against the parastatal and its funds. The outcome will effect over 62 000 pensioners aged roughly between 70 and 90 years old.
There are also claims that Transnet has the intention to dissolve the pension fund and alienate it from its assets. This would be disastrous for the fund and urgent clarity is needed on this point.
The DA has already requested the Public Protector, Aocate Thuli Madonsela, to investigate the alleged maladministration of the two funds.
It has also been reported that Transnet CEO, Brian Molefe, claimed that the plight of the pensioners, beneficiaries of the Transnet Pension Fund and TSBF, did not concern him as the pensioners were “beneficiaries of apartheid”. This statement has been subsequently refuted.
Such a claim, if it is shown to have indeed been made by Molefe, will not only be reflective of the complete disdain with which Transnet has dealt with pensioners but also does tremendous harm to this country’s on-going reconciliation project.
The DA will therefore be submitting a set of questions regarding the alleged statements made by Mr Molefe, thus placing his answer on record and before Parliament.
To date, poor communication between the pension fund, Transnet and pensioners themselves has led to this unfortunate impasse. This issue must now, once and for all, be cleared up publicly and put on record so as to end any further rumours or allegations amongst the parties.
We cannot allow these men and woman who worked all their lives to improve South African infrastructure to be left to starve and suffer when they can no longer look after themselves.
We will continue to fight for the rights of all of these pensioners.
Natasha Michael, Shadow Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises
Source : Democratic Alliance