From the news desk

Govt lied to us, say retired civil servants

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Retired civil servants have accused the government of lying and making empty promises about a better pension fund.

Hundreds of pensioners took to the streets of Pretoria and marched on the Union Buildings to hand over a memorandum calling on government to address their issues.

Spokesperson for the marchers, Wes Tema, said government had made an undertaking to assist the pensioners in 2010, but that the process had not materialised into anything fruitful.

“During the old dispensation, the contributions into the retirement funds were not proportional. There were imbalances in terms of contributions for white and black people. In 2010, government agreed to that and promised to redress the issue, said Tema.

“People who met the criteria that were set were called to fill in documents in order to receive compensation from government, but that process was halted in 2012. More than three-quarters of people had not been able to register their names when the process was closed.”

Tema said, despite the majority of people having applied for the redress programme, they had not received any payment from government. He called on officials to reopen the registration process and to allow other deserving retired civil servants to register and get compensated.

“We feel the government is undermining our resolve for a better life. They must reopen the process and those who registered before should be paid,” he said.

TJ Nkhi showed the media a copy of a Resolution 3 of 2012 that was signed by unions at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC). It resolved to put an end to the redressing programme.

Nkhi said he did not understand how unions could sign such a resolution on their behalf, as they were not affiliated to any union.

The marchers held placards aloft and sang their hearts out on the lawns of the Union Buildings as they waited for officials to receive their memorandum. Among the placards was one which read: “Pensioners don’t eat peanuts.”

The memorandum was received by Shemi Mashweu from the Presidency who said it would be treated with the necessary respect and that it would be given attention. News24

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