Human tragedy: Transnet pensioners in protest march to Union Buildings

Opinion by FF Plus

Human tragedy: Transnet pensioners in protest march to Union Buildings
Human tragedy: Transnet pensioners in protest march to Union Buildings

Approximately four hundred Transnet pensioners participated in a protest march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 14 March 2019, to once again draw attention to their long drawn out battle against the government.

The FF Plus will continue fighting side by side with the pensioners until the matter is settled.

The memorandum addressed to President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, which was handed over at the Union Buildings, states that pensioners of all races have, over the last few years, received an increase of only 2% per annum while living expenses have risen even higher than the official inflation rate.

Furthermore, the memorandum states that most pensioners only receive a mere R 2000.00 or even less per month. Many of them get only R1.00 after medical aid deductions. That is inhumane.

The pensioners know that if the claim against Transnet is successful, it could do significant damage to the government, but at their age they deserve “a humane lifestyle, which they have been robbed of due to Transnet’s mismanagement of their pension funds”.

The FF Plus has already engaged with Minister Gordhan in an attempt to reach a settlement. If the case continues and the government loses, it could have an extremely negative impact on our country’s credit rating.

The pensioners are demanding nothing more than justice and the payment of their pension money, as Transnet had promised. They also demand better management of their pension funds by the board of trustees as well as a democratically elected independent chairperson.

In the meantime, the FF Plus will continue to fight on behalf of the pensioners to reach a settlement with the government. This is truly a human tragedy that has directly caused the death of many elderly and sickly people and that has doomed tens of thousands of others to lead a precarious existence.

It is a shame that any government would allow something like this to happen and then be so callous as to fight these vulnerable people, who are just asking for what they are entitled to, in court.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Adv Anton Alberts on FF Plus

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