An organisation called the Vhembe Concerned Pensioners Group in Limpopo – which represents about 23 000 former Venda Homeland government pensioners – is going to the Constitutional Court to force the Department of Finance to adhere to the Public Protector’s remedial action to have their pensions paid. In 1992 some government employees were paid some of their pension and the rest was privatised and invested in the PIC.
Eight years ago the then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela ruled that it was improper to privatise their pensions. She ruled that the process prejudiced the beneficiaries and that the national treasury should start the process of recalculating the money using actuaries. Last year Finance Minister Tito Mboweni went to court to have the remedial action set aside and reviewed – saying if it could open a floodgate of claims.
The Group’s spokesperson Tshimangadzo Tshiololi says in 1992 the pension money was R800 million and could be running into billions now.
“We are preparing to go to the Constitutional Court to seek an order that will compel the minister of finance; to comply with the remedial action contained in that report of 2011/2012 because people who are suffering most of them are dying just because they can’t access specialist medical attention because they can’t access their pension funds treasure is not willing to pay.”
Spokesperson of the office of the Public Protector Oupa Segalwe says Mboweni’s review case is still in court and beneficiaries should wait for it to be finalised.
So far there is no court that ruled that beneficiaries must be paid. He says however his office still wants the remedial action to be followed by the Department of Finance.
“The Public Protector issued a special report that of 2012 in 2017 to guide the implementation of remedial action after the Treasury expressed worry at the potential of opening the flood gate in the event the Public Protector were effect as it is. Last year Mr. Mboweni took both the 2012 and the 2012 report on the review and that review case is still ongoing.”