From the news desk

Pensioners still protesting outside Parliament

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There may be a ray of hope for over 100 pensioners who have been conducting a sit-in on Parliament’s pavement for weeks in protest over their claims of missing pensions and Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) money.

Their representative Michael Matshaye said they may soon receive UIF payments after their names were eventually found on the system.

Their tale is twofold. Matshaya said that in 1988 a group of SA Railways employees in East London went on strike demanding a pay increase but were fired. On January 27 1990 they won their challenge against the dismissals in the then Durban Industrial High Court.

On February 1 1990 they returned to work but found that the gates were locked and the judgment was allegedly ignored.

After the advent of democracy in 1994, a new government transport entity, Transnet, was formed but they claim they never received their pension money and nor were they given their UIF cards.

Matshaya claimed that in January 1994 they were told by the company holding their pensions that it was waiting for authorisation to release the money from the rail authority, but the money never came.

Not going home

The second complaint involves about 5000 employees who worked for the Republic of Ciskei’s transport company. The company was closed very suddenly and the workers lost their jobs, said Matshaya.

A group took the state to court and the court ordered that around R34m should be paid to the jobless employees. But as in the other case, they never received the money.

The sit-in is the pensioners’ second protest since last October.

According to Matshaya, this time they refuse to go home until they receive bank deposit notifications on their cellphones of the money they say they are owed.

The pensioners, who say they would like an audience with President Jacob Zuma, have been sleeping at the Methodist Church in Cape Town’s Greenmarket Square.

Further information was not immediately available from the department and ministry of labour.

[Source: News24]
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