FF Plus to take Transnet to court

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Johannesburg -

The Freedom Front Plus will take Transnet to court over pension funds, the party said on Wednesday.

The FF Plus on Friday sent legal letters to Transnet for information about its two pension funds. The party was seeking the minutes of all meetings held since 1994, as well as all financial statements.

“We received a letter from the two 1/8pension 3/8 funds' chief officers in which we are informed that the information is ready and can be fetched,” said Anton Alberts, spokesman on economic affairs.

The party was planning a class action application to force Transnet to implement annual increases equivalent to inflation.

“We will now further study the content and complete the court application according to it. That means that we will probably serve the summons on Transnet and the two funds in August,” said Alberts.

He said the FF Plus had earlier considered lodging a complaint with Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, but was advised to rather approach the court as the public protector did not have the power to enforce a finding and could only make recommendations.

He said a court on the other hand had the authority to have its decisions enforced.

Transnet has two pension funds Ä the Transnet Pension Fund (TPF) and the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Pension Fund (TSDBPF).

These were created in 2000. Since their inception, the pension funds had increased benefits by just two percent per year.

On Tuesday, the Democratic Alliance requested the public protector investigate the two Transnet funds, claiming that more than 70,000 pensioners were facing destitution as the paltry increases in their benefits of two percent per annum failed to keep up with the rising cost of living.

DA MP Natasha Michael said that as result of the poor management of the funds, Transnet pensioners who retired in 1990 on R1400 a month currently received only R3000 a month.

“Pensioners at other state-owned enterprises, such as Eskom, who retired with a similar pension in 1990 now receive approximately R8000 per month,” she said.

Despite a 2010 instruction by Parliament to Transnet and the National Treasury to invest R1.9 billion into the ailing pension funds, the Treasury had not yet recapitalised the fund, citing the fact that the payment was not budgeted and was unaffordable. - Sapa


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