Ramaphosa announces task team to look at pension issues for former TBVC states’ workers who feel cheated

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa raised the matter of pensions. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa raised the matter of pensions. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Feb 16, 2023


Cape Town - After decades of frustrations, thousands of civil servants from the former TBVC states (homelands) who have voiced concerns over their “miscalculated pension” payouts, will have the their matter looked into.

The matter of workers who came from the four South African independent Bantustans of Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda, and Ciskei, commonly referred to as TBVC States, was first brought to parliament’s attention by UDM leader Bantu Holomisa on Tuesday this week during the debate on the State of the Nation address by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

According to Holomisa, these workers were employed by these states in the 1970s and 1980s. And in 1996 their billions in pensions were moved to the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) which is managed by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

He said these workers raised their concerns with the GEPF and PIC and they were not attended to.

With limited resources, some of the remaining workers have taken the matter to court, while others have since died.

Holomisa said that was not the only issue of pension faced by people out there.

He alleged that former MK fighters were receiving preferential treatment yet there were so many others who fought for freedom and there was no victor during the fight.

Responding to Holomisa’s concerns on the matter on Thursday when he came back to parliament to respond to all comments made by parties, Ramaphosa announced that the issue of military veterans was handled by the panel led by outgoing deputy president, David Mabuza.

The issue of former TBVC workers is to be handled by a panel to be formed by the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana.

“The Honourable Holomisa has raised the issue of pensions of civil servants and military veterans from the former TBVC states.

“These are indeed issues that need to be considered, the deputy president has a task team on benefits for military veterans which has a work stream on pensions.

“I have asked this task team to provide a report on this matter and I have also asked the minister of finance to set a team to look into the issue of pensions for civil servants from the TBVC states.

“So, that work is going to get under way and I would like to thank General Holomisa for having raised this matter.

“He raised it as a real issue that needs to be addressed and that I saw as a very constructive issue that should be raised during the debate,” Ramaphosa said.

On Thursday, just as Ramaphosa took the podium to reply, Holomisa confirmed in a tweet that Godongwana had already called him to arrange a meeting on the matter.

“Success in effecting change for the SA TBVC pensioners!

“Min Godongwana has called me to set up a meeting with pensioner associations & groups to sort out calculation error in their pensions.

“See my Sona debate speech 4 details.

“Let’s hope the end of their problems is in sight,” Holomisa tweeted.

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