'R1 a month for Transnet pensioners'

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Copy of iol news pic Union Buildings file Reuters A general view of the Union Buildings in Pretoria. File photo: Alexander Joe

Johannesburg - Some Transnet pensioners are left with R1 after their medical aid deductions, the Freedom Front Plus said on Thursday.

“Most of the retired employees are left with R1 after their medical aid deductions, what can one do with R1 these days?” asked FF Plus MP Anton Alberts during a march by a number of pensioners to the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

They intended delivering a petition to President Jacob Zuma's office to ask for his urgent intervention.

People carried placards bearing the words “Transnet trustees have betrayed us” and “Ons eis geregtigheid” (We demand justice).

Retired Transnet employee Koos van der Merwe said most of his monthly income paid for his medical aid and he battled to make ends meet.

“So we appeal to President Zuma to help the elderly,” said Van der Merwe.

Most of the pensioners walked with the aid of canes and crutches.

Alberts said it was a disgrace for elderly people to march in the scorching sun to protest about money owed to them.

“Elderly people should be home enjoying their retirement, not protesting about their monthly income.”

The pensioners had launched a class action court case against Transnet and government over the “plundering” of their pension funds over 20 years.

The two percent annual increases on their pensions were in shrill contrast to promises Transnet management had made, the FF Plus said.

On Tuesday ,Transnet announced that pensioners would get 13th cheques totalling R178 million.

“This takes the total of bonus payments made by the pension funds and Transnet to around R2.5 billion since 2007,” Transnet said in a statement.

The bonus payment for each beneficiary would equal 8.3 percent of their annual individual benefit.

Alberts said earlier the bonuses would not affect the court action. About 66,000 pensioners are involved in the civil claim to recover about R79bn, which they claim Transnet took from their pension funds.


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