FILE PHOTO: Mine workers walk past the pit head at Sibanye Gold's Masimthembe shaft in Westonaria, South Africa

JOHANNESBURG - The department of labour on Friday cautioned former mine workers to be wary of people offering them help to apply for claims at the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). 

The department has started a registration campaign for former mineworkers for unclaimed UIF benefits, starting with the Northern Cape province.

"We have no relationship with any forum or agent purporting to act as middlemen for application intended for unclaimed benefits," the department's chief director of provincial operations Emily Maneli said.

"We distance ourselves from such acts and urge our people to report those people at their nearest police station."

The department is looking for people who left employment at South African mines prior to April 2002 in order disburse millions of rand in unclaimed benefits.

It said registrations had been successfully carried out this week covering the areas of Douglas and Barkley West and the project would continues next week in Warrenton and Pampierstad.

All former mine workers who left their employment after April 2002 would be assessed in line with the Unemployment Insurance Act of 2001, the labour department said.

- African News Agency (ANA)